Blackburn aka The Blackburn Asylum – Canada, 2015 – overview and reviews

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‘Some ghost stories are real’

The Blackburn Asylum – aka Blackburn – is a 2015 Canadian backwoods horror feature film directed by Lauro Chartrand from a screenplay by producer Nastasha Baron.

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The movie stars Lochlyn Munro (Freddy vs. Jason), Sarah Lind (WolfCopThe Exorcism of Molly Hartley), Emilie Ullerup (Leprechaun: Origins; A Little Bit Zombie), Calum Worthy (Aquarius), Mike Dupud (Hollow Man 2), Ken Kirzinger (Wrong Turn 2: Left for Dead), Maja Aro (Lost Boys 3: The Tribe), Alexander Calvert (Scream: The TV Series), Zack Peladeau (Being Human), Brandi Alexander, Brad Loree (Halloween: Resurrection), Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins (The Wicker Man).

Jen and Sylvia Soska (directors of American Mary; See No Evil 2 and Hellevator) also appear.

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A forest fire and rock-slide trap five bickering college friends in a small Alaskan ghost town with a horrifying history. When they seek refuge inside the torched ruins of Blackburn Asylum they must fight to survive as the angry inhabitants slaughter the friends one-by-one…

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

Blackburn is a brutal and fiery horror outing. Deserving of its restricted rating, the film hosts a huge assortment of disturbing scenes and sequences. Meanwhile, each character is given appropriate attention and thankfully, the villains are given their own murderous motivations.” Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis

“There is not much subtle or revolutionary about it, but there are moments where simply none of that matters. This is either because the actors have breathed some life into the characters or enough of the film’s gears seem to be clicking with the idea of not taking itself too seriously.” Kayvan Rezaiezadeh, Cryptic Rock

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” …pancake flat direction and mostly unenthusiastic acting fail to funnel any sort of spirited energy into style or atmosphere. Things function fine on a technical level and a playful rhythm between Joyce and Jacqueline Robbins as the twisted gas station twins is one entertaining bit. The film isn’t poorly made or even particularly lazy. It’s simply dull and indistinctive.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“The flashback scenes were, by far, the best! From the introduction, to its time-lapsed footage, I found appreciation in the effects and reasoning behind the haunting. That portion kept my attention, even if it didn’t quite make sense. I also liked the homage paid to other horror movies. I felt connected to various other pics, even if that wasn’t the movie’s intent.” A. Renee Hunt, Hellnotes

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“An absolutely wonderful piece of cinema. This is cinema, not just a feature film. Anyone can write a script, produce a movie and send it out to distributors. But few can make a movie that’s worthy of critical success. Blackburn is that movie. It’s eerie, suspenseful and has the perfect vibe for a late night viewing… Horror Society

” …the practical special and makeup effects combined with a played straight slasher premise straight out of the golden age of horror will appeal to those particularly in love with this genre. While it does not bring anything new to the table, what we are given has good production standards and an on point cast that carries it straight through to the must see credits and outtakes.” Nightmarish Conjurings

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“I don’t think Blackburn was ever designed to be a ground breaking horror, I feel it was made as a fun piece of escapism and at times it is a fun watch, it certainly ramps up in the second half. For me I just could not shake the feeling of having seen it all before, with zero new ideas on the table it fails to stand out from the crowd, occasionally it comes together but not enough…” The Rotting Zombie

” …the opening half of the feature dawdles along with no real urgency, leaving the main course of the feature, and the introduction of Blackburn Asylum squeezed in to the last half hour. That descent into deformed psychotics r’us raises the interest bar few notches, but comes too late to raise Chartrand’s movie above deeply average.” Dave Wain, The Schlock Pit

Blackburn doesn’t really blaze any new trails in horror, but at least it entertains. The plot takes some nice twists and turns, and there is a surprising amount of tension. The gore effects are better than average but suffer from a lack of screen time. Instead there are gore montages, that undercut the effectiveness a little.” Che Gilson, UK Horror Scene

Filming locations:

Britannia Beach, British Columbia, Canada

Running time:

84 minutes

Trivia:

Director Lauro Chartrand is a former stunt man.

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