Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Mischa Barton, Cameron Bright, Deborah Kara Unger
Driected by Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
A young girl named Sam (Barton) is given her first big break upon graduating from college; she’s going to oversee her first solo building demolition! Not to say that she’s going to demolish the building all by herself, though that would be pretty cool, too; no see, Sam’s an engineer whose specialty is figuring out the best and most efficient way to destroy buildings.
You’d think such a career choice would make her just a little bit tough, wouldn’t you? Maybe not terrified of the dark, prone to weeping like an 8-year-old if the lights go out? And if she is, maybe spending time in a soon-to-be demolished building, no matter how cool it looks, isn’t such a great idea?
But that’s only the surface of the problem-filled pool that is Walled In, a film whose greatest sin is not that it’s badly shot or acted, but that there’s nothing scary, moody, or even temperamental about it. It’s a film that has an interesting premise it does nothing with set in a location that’s about the only thing you’ll likely to remember as the credits roll.
Fifteen years earlier, a mass of bodies were found in the walls of this building, you see. The murders were blamed on the building’s architect, who apparently had some very Egyptian elements to his architectural knowledge base. So you’ve got a cool looking building with a history of death; of course you can see where the premise is going, right? Wrong. While normally I respect a film that can take an obvious premise and throw something different at you (Session 9 is a perfect example), Walled In doesn’t have anything new or appealing to offer in place of the obvious plot.
While there are plot holes large to fit large motor vehicles through, they wouldn’t have been nearly as obvious if there were anything interesting at all going on in Walled In but, other than a cool looking building and some moderately creepy interiors, the movie just drags itself along as it goes from a possibly creep-filled supernatural showcase to yet another story about a deranged mind torturing people for no discernable reason.
The acting is decent across the board, though don’t get too attached to any quirky characters the director throws at you, cause they won’t be showing their faces again any time soon. Cameron Bright, despite being much taller, emotes about as much as he did in Ultraviolet, for those who had the misfortune to sit through that one, even though his character is supposed to be far more complex in this film than he was in that slice of visual masturbation.
In terms of DVD features, all there is is your standard making-of featurette. Definitely nothing to write home about.
If there’s more to say about Walled In, I’ve already forgotten what it was. It’s one of those movies that tries so hard to make itself memorable but drops every ball it gets its hands on to the point that all you’ll likely be able to remember if someone quizzes you on it will be along the lines of “yeah, that was that weird movie with the cool building in the middle of nowhere, right?”
1 ½ out of 5
1 out of 5
Discuss Walled In in the Dread Central forums!