Director – Henrique Couto (Alone in the Ghost House, Awkward Thanksgiving)
Starring – Joni Durian (Scarewaves, Her Name Was Torment 2), John Bradley Hambrick (Paranormal Shopping Network, Ragmork), and Erin R. Ryan (The Girl in the Crawl Space, Kill That Bitch)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “She loves to play games”
The last month or so I’ve been in a 70s and 80s mood. I started watching and reviewing some of the AGFA releases in conjunction with Bleeding Skull and Something Weird. I then moved on to some stellar releases from Umbrella Entertainment. Watching the new Godzilla film last weak recharged my batteries and I am now ready to check out some indie horror again.
I was going to toss in something from Wild Eye when I saw a post from Ohio based indie director Henrique Couto about looking for reviewers for his newest film Haunting Inside. I don’t review Henrique’s movies that often because I prefer to collect his work but I didn’t want to wait. Thanks Henrique for sending this one over.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young autistic woman who lives with her older brother who is an aspiring author. She is seeing a doctor for her mental issues but their insurance is not going to cover anymore visits so he is forced to get a job which leaves her alone most of the day. She turns to an Ouija board to kill time and accidentally unleashes some spirits in her home. They start out as friendly at first but soon her brother’s life is placed in jeopardy forcing her to pick between him or her new friends. **Spoiler Alert**
Horror comes in so many different flavors and it’s impossible to love them all. Many people struggle with that. I don’t know if they feel like they are the center of attention or what but horror films are not meant for everyone. Henrique’s films are like that with me and just because I don’t like some of them doesn’t mean they are bad. In fact, the ones I didn’t like are still good movies. They just didn’t interest me. I thought at first that Haunting Inside was going to be one of the few films from Henrique that I didn’t like but it did grow on me. By the end of the film I had enjoyed myself and appreciated what he delivered.
The acting in this one is actually pretty solid. Joni Durian portrays an agoraphobic young woman with autism who relies on board games to keep her stable. She does a great job with the role which only helps move the story along. With that being said, John Bradley Hambrick really carried the film. His performance was great and his portrayal of a loving brother was emotional at times. The supporting cast was great as well. Henrique did a great job with the casting in this one.
The story for this one was not what I was expecting. The title made me think I was about to get into a supernatural haunted house horror film with some great suspense and tension. Similar to a few other films from Henrique but this one wasn’t like that at all. The film was actually fairly mild and really put me in the mindset of an episode of Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? It was darker as the film progressed but I could totally see this same story applied to a single parent and a child instead of a brother and sister pair. The movie does move rather slowly but the story is entertaining enough to really hold your attention.
Finally, if you want blood and gore you wont find it here. The movie relies solely on character development which works for what it is. Also, the film does not have the dark atmosphere or tension that you would expect from a haunted house flick either. Overall, Haunting Inside works. The story is simple and the characters are well written which results in a fun horror film that shows that you don’t need extreme violence to entertain horror fans. Check it out.