‘The dead are restless’
The Baylock Residence is a 2018 British supernatural horror feature film about a woman that inherits her sister’s haunted mansion.
Written, directed and edited by Anthony M. Winson (The Nursery Man; Cry of the Magpie; House of Afflictions; Unholy; et al), the Mr Stitch Films production stars Kelly Goudie (Unholy), Sarah Wynne Kordas (Tales of the Creeping Death; Crispy’s Curse), Lindsay Foster, Karen Henson and Kieron Brook.
The film is a remake of Winson’s The Haunting of Baylock Residence (2014). The original film – watch online below – was set in the 1970s whereas this version is set in the 1940s.
1944: Patricia Woodhouse (Kelly Goudie) has been estranged from her sister Susanna Baylock for quite a few years due to a family feud. Suddenly, she receives a letter detailing the death of her sister.
Patricia returns to pay her respect where she meets Annabel Blair, Susanna’s help (Sarah Wynne Kordas). Annabel informs Patricia that she has now inherited the Baylock residence. However, something isn’t right with this house: it’s harbouring a very old secret, one which Patricia needs to learn before it’s too late…
There is something very admirable about setting a micro-budget satanic spook tale in the 1940s. And indeed, some of the mild hysteria and delving about into dark secrets works. Just about.
Unfortunately, for the most part, the game cast struggles to convince us that they are enduring the tribulations of the Second World War (the film is set in blitz-blighted London and Nottingham), let alone the supernatural shenanigans that occur within the tragedy-ridden titular residence. And it’s not their fault, a fitting Forties ambience was clearly very difficult to achieve and maintain on writer-director Anthony M. Winson’s meagre budget.
Even more daringly, Winson isn’t content to tackle just the WWII era. There is a flashback reveal to a murderous party in the ‘20s which, alas, seems even less convincing and comes across as a flappers fancy dress charade. At this point, many viewers may well give in to guffaws rather than the intended shock of what turns into a mini massacre.
The two principal leads, Kelly Goudie (as a suffering sibling) and Sarah Wynne Kordas (as confused housekeeper), have to carry the exposition-heavy histrionics pretty much on their own until the finale reveals and it’s all too much trauma-drama to lay on their unexperienced thespian shoulders.
The highlight of the film is the discovery of a secret attic compartment, festooned with crudely drawn pentagrams and already-lit candles, which is mildly effective. This scene aside, there isn’t a solitary scare in the entire entity-ridden plot. It’s a terrible shame because everyone involved should be applauded for giving it their all – despite the limitations they are working within – for what is ultimately a frightfully well-intended piece that doesn’t quite come off.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
“Goudie and Kordas make for strong leads, and generate a good amount of audience sympathy… you know, so we actually give a toss if they make it through this misadventure with their sanity and body parts intact, and the dwelling the inhabit is suitably creepy, and filled with period-accurate accoutrements.” Horror Fuel
“Commendable in what it’s trying to do, aiming to capture the feel of traditional British haunted house flicks, but it fails to inject anything resembling life or personality, turning the whole thing into something as involving as a doctor’s office waiting room.” Dustin Baker, Letterboxd
” …it’s held back by a few overripe performances and a ghost that doesn’t really seem all that threatening, even as the characters try too hard to convince us otherwise. Either way, this is low budget horror that readily adheres to the conventions, propping itself up with everything fans of these kinds of movies come looking for. A solid effort from Winson…” David Duprey, That Moment In
“The most notable scene in the entire film is a terrible CGI composite of a bombed London street that is laughably bad. But after that, there are no more special effects and the film is better for it. Baylock offers a decent story with some clever filmmaking for a micro-budget film. But it’s not truly scary or atmospheric.” Che Gilson, UK Horror Scene
Cast and characters:
- Kelly Goudie … Patricia Woodhouse
- Sarah Wynne Kordas … Annabel Blair
- Lindsay Foster … Mary Baylock
- Karen Henson … Susanna Baylock
- Kieron Brook … Victor Baylock
- Penelope Butler … Neighbour
- Fiona Shore … Nellie Baylock
- Cara Middleton … Dorothy
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
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