Movie Review - The Last House on Cemetery Lane
Now available on Netflix, is writer-director Andrew Jones' 2015 film, The Last House on Cemetery Lane. And if that title sounds familiar to you it's because it's an amalgamation of several other genre film titles (The Last House on the Left, The House By the Cemetery, etc...) rolled into one, and really the same can be said for the entire plot of the film. And although the director manages to create a striking visual tone and color palette, the film feels derivative and never manages to establish its' own identity. I cannot speak to the film maker's other work and so this isn't necessarily a commentary on his abilities as a writer or director, but this one failed to make any impact and was instantly forgettable. I would recommend skipping this one.
John Davies is a screenwriter that moves into an old house in West Wales, but upon his arrival he learns of a strange exception to his lease that wasn't previously mentioned: there is a mysterious blind woman who lives in the attic. And shortly after moving in, he begins experiencing what seem like supernatural forces within the house. Could the house be haunted or could this have something to do with the woman living in the attic? Or is all of what we're seeing actually just the screenplay that John is writing?
I won't give away any more of the film, and to be honest, because it didn't resonate with me it's actually hard for me to tell exactly where the film maker was going with this one. If it was meant to be a simple homage to the genre, it fails to rise to the level of the films it borrows from. The performance of lead actor Lee Bane was commendable, but the rest of the cast felt wooden and inexperienced. And finally many of the scenes felt obtuse and unnecessary, making the almost two hour run time feel even longer. As I said, it's free to watch on Netflix now, but all the same, I would avoid it.
- Leo Francis