Horror Within, The (2005)

Starring Jesse Biltz, Michelle Crain, Lynn Jacobells, David Roers

Directed by Tom Sanders

Folks, this is going to be a short review; possibly the shortest review I’ve ever written. There’s just not a lot to say about this one.

Lately, I’ve been so sick of seeing cheaply made zombie flicks that watching a cheaply made vampire flick like The Horror Within seemed like a breath of fresh air. It didn’t take long for that air to turn stale. The Horror Within is another example of why vampire flicks are the single most overdone film genre there is.

Film students are in the process of making a monster movie for film class. Travis, the beleaguered screenwriter, comes to learn that screenwriters tend to get little respect from directors, such as his buddy Ethan, ever in college. Ethan, who treats this student production with the mentality of a real studio production, is looking to finish up the film at his parent’s old estate in the Hollywood hills (Dad was a Hollywood mogul) and off goes he and his filmmaking friends; a group that includes Ethan, the lead actress uneasy about getting naked on film, the mentally handicapped guy in the monster suit, the lecherous leading man, and so on.

From the moment they arrive they can’t help but get the feeling that they’re being watched. Turns out there place has an unpleasant history involving the caretaker and a murderous tenant that was actually a vampire. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Long story short (certainly shorter than the amount of time the film takes to tell the story), the house has since become the home for the now vampiric caretaker who seems to be trying way to hard to channel Chris Sarandon in Fright Night. He also develops an obsession with one of the actresses and is determined to make her his. Been there…

The movie is primarily composed of characters either getting turned into vampires and falling under the command of the evil caretaker or characters trying to stay alive and feeling remorseful about having to kill their now inhuman friends. Done that…

Ethan strikes a deal with the vampire offering to help him get the girl he’s after in exchange for his life and being allowed to film the vampire in action. Seen it…

There’s nothing particularly bad about The Horror Within aside from the lethargic pacing and the realization that it doesn’t contain a single original or innovative thought or idea. No amount of fancy camera tricks or low rent CGI can save this film from being a cliché-riddled bore. You can sense at times that the filmmakers were trying to make something out of nothing but The Horror Within is just a dead zone of ideas.

The movie they’d gone up to the old house to finish shooting was to be a horror flick called Curse of the Weremonkey. I’d much rather have seen that film than this one.

1 ½ out of 5

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Jon Condit