Spirit Trap (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Finally, a British movie comes along to breathe life into the old Haunted House genre, which is something of a staple crop in the annual British film harvest ...

Yes, that'll happen someday.

Not today.

This is not that movie. This is the previous one, the one gasping for breath in the death-throes of the genre.

The British print critics are notoriously hard to impress. The only gave an average of two and a half stars (on a four star scale) to the dazzlingly-filmed Children of Men, so you can bet that they ripped this film a new one. The Guardian reports that the ten major reviewers gave the film an average of 2.1 stars out of 10. That's less than one star out of four, or 14 in dog stars.

Spirit Trap goes directly for the teen audience, placing university students in a haunted mansion in North London. The students are pleasantly surprised to find a viable alternative to student housing - they can stay in a magnificent old mansion, within walking distance of the London Arts campus,  for only a fraction of the cost of a dorm room. None of them finds that suspicious, which is particularly surprising since the London Art College is in London, as you might expect, and their mansion is in Bucharest, Romania, which is London's understudy and took the part in today's matinee. Some walking distance!

As you might expect, the young people end up trapped in the mansion with the deceased former residents. Or maybe some of the alleged students actually are the former residents, and have assumed mortal disguises to lure the students into a Spirit Trap. Or maybe they're all already dead and don't know it. Or not. Whatever.

Move along, mates, nothing to see here.



  • No features
  • the transfer is anamorphically enhanced, and is not especially vivid



The bad movie does have a pretty good nude scene, but it's much too short. A spread-legged Emma Catherwood shows her bum in a very energetic sex scene witnessed from a peephole directly over the bed.

The Critics Vote ...

  • British consensus: less than one star out of four. Mail 1/10, Telegraph 2/10, Independent 2/10, Guardian 2/10, Times 2/10, Sun 4/10, Express 2/10, Mirror 2/10, FT 2/10, BBC 1/5.


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a D. It is a a technically competent film, but it's completely unoriginal, the dialogue is dull, and the acting is dicey.

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