Review: Nathan Ives and Brian M. Conley’s The Basement

Well, this one is all sorts of crazy! The Basement is a new horror film that blurs the line between psychological torment and flat out torture. Uncork’d Entertainment is releasing it to select theaters and VOD on September 15, 2018 and, you know what, I actually think it’s worth the price of a ticket stub. Going back a decade, Saw started much in the same way – an independently shot, though expertly produced, horror feature that nauseated audiences enough to warrant a sequel. While there are several other parallels between Saw and The Basement, I should clarity that The Basement has a gory groove of its very own and a sinister villain that’s more unnerving than Jigsaw. Based on the screenplay by Nathan Ives and Brian M. Conley, this upcoming Uncork’d release follows an abducted man who wakes up in – where else – an unfamiliar basement. His captor is a twisted and sadistic serial killer who reenacts his own torture on the helpless man. More than just a killer, the captor plays several characters in his mind and in real life, leaving his prey desperate to follow the story and work himself into it in a way that wills spare his life. Mixing several genres of horror into one disturbing film, The Basement was shot by Conley Entertainment Group and stars Jackson Davis (“Days of Our Lives”), Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”), Cayleb Long, Bailey Anne Borders and Tracie Thomas.

Directed by Nathan Ives and Brian M. Conley, The Basement‘s biggest strengths are the fear of what’s coming next and its delusional culprit. The level of suspense is sky high when facing the unknown, and in this case, anticipating what’s going to happen next is usually met with a bloody mess of skin and bones that you never expected. You can only imagine what the lead actor, who spends the majority of the movie tied to a chair, goes through at the hands of the crazed killer. Bill, the villain, was written in such a multi-leveled way; incorporating multiple personalities, previous trauma, and some connection to the Zodiac signs into his method of madness. The many costume changes, his appearance as a clown, and everything in between painted a bizarre and unsettling picture and created one of the best villains of 2018. Great job, Brian and Nate! I will admit that some people may dislike The Basement due to it being about two men in one room, and that sometimes they went for the biggest shock value they could muster and only received something average in return. Still, the level of suspense and the professional caliber of production more than makes up for any plot blips.

Before I cap things off, I wanted to mention that Mischa Barton has a large role in The Basement. At one point, Mischa was one of the biggest teen queens on the planet before finding herself a tabloid pariah; forcing her to retreat to smaller movies. In the past, she’s turned in weak performances and clearly only showed up for the pay check. However, The Basement marks a new era for the actress. The Basement is one of her best performances in ages and a fitting role for her to toy with. She looks great and she sounds great. All of the cast members were superb in their roles, especially Jackson Davies and Cayleb Long, but I wanted to give Mischa props for buckling up and delivering something worth writing about.  Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the natural on screen chemistry between Jackson and Cayleb. Throw in a twist ending, and yeah, The Basement was pretty good. Much better than I expected, actually. Uncork’d Entertainment is releasing it to select theaters and VOD on September 15, 2018, and I think you should check it out. It’s right up your alley if you’re an independent horror fan who would enjoy an above average psychological horror film with an abundance of suspense and gore; or if you’re looking for the next big thing since Saw. No complains here outside of a few moot points and a low body count. Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael DeFellipo

(Senior Editor)

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