‘An ancient evil has awoken’
The Cellar is a 2022 horror film about a young woman whose daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house in the country.
Horror fans will doubtless feel that they’ve ventured into this particular house of clichés many times before. Nonetheless, director Muldowney builds growing tension and fear whilst the introduction of the mathematical element adds something different to the mystery. Elisha Cuthbert also delivers a strong performance in the lead. Despite a languid middle section, the other-wordly climax is welcome. The Cellar won’t particularly surprise anyone and yet it does stand out slightly (only slightly) when compared to many other similar movies.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
A range of reviews:
“The Cellar is a sneakily effective horror movie. There is a constant undercurrent of fear that is simultaneously frightening and captivating. The story uses classic storytelling techniques to deliver a final product that even fans who do normally watch genre films can enjoy.” 8.5/10 AIPT
“It’s wonderful to see Elisha Cuthbert back in the genre and Muldowney manages to eke out a few genuine chills in the third act, but it’s not enough to merit a strong recommendation. It’s a competently made film, but in an age where people have endless viewing options from streaming services, competent just doesn’t cut it anymore.” 2.5/5 Bloody Disgusting
“While the film falters briefly in its storytelling in the final act, a strong, determined performance from Cuthbert, some notable scares, and the overwhelming feeling of dread the film expertly crafts, make The Cellar an enjoyable, spooky experience.” 3.5/5 Daily Dead
“ …The Cellar is a generic horror film that squandered its potential for no reason whatsoever. The direction is bland. The writing is underbaked. The actors don’t have enough material to work with. The cinematography is passable. The sound design carries a lot of the film.” Digital Mafia Talkies
” …I wasn’t 100% sure that the plot made any logical sense and the conclusion didn’t feel satisfactory after the build-up. The Cellar hits many of the tropes you’d expect a film like this too and I just wish it had taken some bolder strikes to really put its own twist on the demonic house sub-genre. It’s not a terrible film but it’s one that isn’t as satisfying as it should have been.” 2.5/5 Entertainment Focus
“Cliches can absolutely be used as tools when a filmmaker wields them with sufficient aplomb, but there’s a highly programmatic feel to how Brendan Muldowney rattles through them in his new feature. Sadly Elisha Cuthbert’s firmly committed performance can’t prevent this dusty, aggressively generic haunted house horror from descending into tedium.” 2/5 Flickering Myth
“While there are a couple of jump scares, it’s to Muldowney’s credit that he doesn’t resort to a film full of them, instead going for that building sense of dread. And that ending. I was impressed with The Cellar. I found it to be a good film indeed, expanding the short in interesting ways indeed.” 3.5/5 The Grump of Horror
“Children in peril, haunted houses, chilling portals, storybook-style monsters—whilst The Cellar may be an amalgamation of scarier and altogether superior selections from the horror genre, it gives no pretense. The film is upfront about the flavor of terror the viewer will taste from those first few minutes alone. This means little in the way of surprises…” Josh at the Movies
” …The Cellar joins When a Stranger Calls as a feature-length remake and expansion of the piece – a risky project since it was the original’s simplicity which worked so well. Muldowney […] takes his nugget and spins it out effectively, with Lovecraftian mathematics/semiology opening a portal to another dimension (a hellscape akin to those visited in some Lucio Fulci films of the early 80s)…” The Kim Newman Web Site