by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is one of those movies which has a self-reviewing synopsis:

"Teenager Madison McBride is traumatized by the loss of her deranged father when she was nine years old and the suicide of her beloved brother Brandon one year ago. She decides to attend Richard Miller University, where Brandon committed suicide, to overcome her demons. While walking to her dorm, she meets the weird janitor Wilbur Mackey that tells her that the place is haunted. Madison befriends other freshmen: the recovering drug addicted Holt; the geek outcast String; the sexually abused Ivy and Maya; and the joker athlete Tommy. All the schoolmates have childhood traumas.

String discovers on the internet that their dorm, together with an attached abandoned section, was once an asylum for troubled teens administered by Dr. Magnus Burke and was considered a safe refuge with state-of-art treatment. In 1939, the interns revolted against the insane doctor, killing him and disclosing the truth about his sadistic treatment. The students soon find that their dorm is haunted by Dr. Burke, who is seeking tortured souls."

So what do you think? Is this a film made by a superb craftsman who loves the art of cinema, and is bringing his heart to the project, or is it a quickie pasted together from hackneyed ideas in the hope of making a quick buck?

I'm thinking you already know the answer.

You know how sometimes you forget that you've seen a particularly unimpressive movie, so you actually get a few minutes into the movie before it dawns on you that you've seen it already? Well I had that experience with this film, except that instead of realizing that I had seen it once before, I realized that I had seen it a hundred times before, except with a different cast. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that. Some theatergoers returned to Phantom of the Opera every time the cast changed, just to see how the new team ran the plays. If you're one of those who has to go back to a Broadway play every time the producers come up with some new gimmick like an all-black or all-male or all-TV-star or all-circus-clown cast, then this may be your kind of film experience. I doubt it, though. People only go back to see revivals of plays they consider great or important or beloved. Nobody is clamoring for a remake of Gigli with an all-dwarf cast, which is the rough equivalent of what this movie does.

The film has not a single new idea, not a single original or interesting character, not one good line of dialogue. Even the title is trite. It's so inept that there is a character in the film (the "joker athlete") whose character development as "a joker" consists entirely of him claiming to be one. He never says anything to make the audience laugh. That alone would be bad enough, but the audience might at least get a hint of where he's coming from if he said something to make the other characters laugh. Not a chance of that either! I had no idea he was supposed to be funny until he was explaining why he became the class clown.

Here's the ultimate demonstration that the filmmakers just didn't give a hoot:

Two characters escape the asylum through a tunnel which has been abandoned for decades, and is blocked on both ends by rusted-out grates. Inside the tunnel there are two light bulbs.

They are both burning.

I guess I could go on, but since the people who made this film didn't give a fig, why should we?


* widescreen anamorphic, 2.40, enhanced for 16x9 screens.

* no features at all.







There are no major reviews online, but you can find comments from two dozen genre specialists linked from the IMDb page.




3.9 IMDB summary (of 10)


Straight to DVD




  • The star, Sarah Roemer, did a shower scene, but the editing techniques dictate that very little can be seen.





Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


This movie is fairly competent technically except for some bad CGI. That saved it from an F.