THE HOUSE ON ELM LAKE (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Evil has a new home’
The House on Elm Lake is a 2017 British supernatural horror film about a couple and their young daughter who move into a new home. They are unaware of the brutal, ritualistic murder of a family years ago. Soon, they realize that a dormant evil has awakened, a possessive force that has preyed on unsuspecting families like theirs for centuries.

Directed by James Klass (Mother Krampus aka 12 Deaths of Christmas) from a screenplay co-written with Shannon Holiday (Tooth Fairy; Bride of Scarecrow; Mandy the Doll) and Scott Jeffrey (The Bad NunUnhinged; Fox Trap). The Proportion Productions movie stars Becky Fletcher, Andrew Hollingworth and Faye Goodwin.

A man convinced that Lucifer was within him brutally murdered his wife and child in satanic sacrifice.

Now, years later, Eric (Andrew Hollingworth), Hayley (Becky Fletcher) and their daughter Penny (Faye Goodwin), move into the same house after being left unsold on the market. They think they got a good deal – but what they don’t know is that the House on Elm Lake has for centuries been home to the servants of Lucifer and that it holds a treacherous evil waiting to be unleashed…

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“There are some nice, spooky moments, some good scenes here and there, and it even builds up a good level of tension at points. Unfortunately, it also manages to burst these positive bubbles with some truly silly sequences. The story is derivative, and Hirani and Hollingsworth carry most of the acting.” Cryptic Rock

” …it’s overlong, very slow and very, very unscary […] Ms Hirani and her chums in the film are no great shakes at the old acting, and the effects, although avoiding the CGI route, and fairly feeble. There are one or two scenes involving half-glimpsed figures that work reasonably well, but, well, it’s just not very good.” Dark Eyes of London

“It’s a movie you’re going to have to stick with. It starts slow but builds its momentum at an alarming rate. Twisted, uncomfortable, gory, bizarre, primitive – this one’s got it all. An unexpected thrill ride and a nightmare event for the ages. I was shocked and surprised…” Horror Society

The House of Elm Lake leaves you drained after watching because it is a dark uncompromising film. Mixing raw horror and a surreal reality, it forces you to endure the events rather than enjoy them. Visually creative and relentless in its execution, it has an original feel of true horror, which fans have been waiting for.” Morbidly Beautiful

“At one point the bedroom door slams shut as a demonic voice shouts, “Get Out!” I had to laugh at the unintentional(?) reference. Mix in a dash of Rosemary’s Baby and that’s my only real complaint; that a good movie borrows elements from two other good movies. If that’s the worst I can write about, this is a solid flick.” Nerdly

“There are thousands of films about someone getting possessed by Satan or the devil and goes on a killing spree etc. The film already has a mountain to climb before it has even started just to try and be different. But then that is where other faults come in that really don’t help.” Roobla

“Minor gripe aside, this is undoubtedly the most frightening British horror movie I’ve seen since Elliot Goldner’s Borderlands (2013). Chock-full of superbly scary imagery, and oozing with atmosphere, this was a real thrill to watch.” The Schlock Pit

“If there’s a manual on how to craft a haunted house or possession movie, House on Elm Lake followed it to the letter. Every cliché is adhered to […] In the end, House on Elm Lake is a dull, rote, mess of a film, only occasionally enlivened by some blood and screams.” Starburst

“Director James Klass and co-writer Shannon Holiday have put together a laundry list of basic haunted house plot elements and then lifelessly filmed them. The last few minutes try to pick the pace up but it’s too late by then. If the film had tapped into the third act’s unpleasantness sooner and not been so bland it might have at least stood out.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:
Becca Hirani … Hayley Jones (as Becky Fletcher)
Andrew Hollingworth … Eric
Faye Goodwin … Penny Jones –12 Deaths of ChristmasUnhinged
Lorena Andrea … Crystal Unhinged
Tara MacGowran … Julie Soskin End Game; Mandy the Haunted Doll; Fox Trap
Oliver Ebsworth … Smithy – 12 Deaths of ChristmasCurse of the Witching Tree
Tony Manders … Elliot – The Young Cannibals; DoggedFox Trap12 Deaths of Christmas
Kate Lush … Miranda
Charlotte Hawkins … Beth
Tim Freeman … Mike

In the UK, the film was released on DVD on 11 September 2017 by Left Films with the cover title House on Elm Lake.

In the USA, Wild Eye Releasing released the film on VOD on April 10, 2018.

Fun facts:

Virtually the same plot was shot in 2014 on a much lower budget as Lucifer’s Night with Becca Hirani also starring.


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