Santa’s Slay, Jack Frost, Jack Frost 2, Gingerdead Man, and A House on the Bayou, and The Deep House
Horror Bulletin for Week 149
Episode 149 Summary
This week, we’ll be watching our usual line-up of four full-length films and a short film. We’ll watch four more Holiday-themed horror films, including “Santa’s Slay” from 2005, “Jack Frost” and the sequel from 1997 and 2000, “The Gingerdead Man” from 2005, and the brand-new non-holiday films “A House on the Bayou” and “The Deep House”
This week we have TWO new giveaways to announce!
1. We have NINE copies of the new horror film, “A House on the Bayou” to give away. On December 26th, 2021, we’ll contact nine lucky people.
2. We have NINE copies of the new horror film, “The Deep House” to give away as well. On January 2nd, 2022, we’ll contact nine lucky people.
3. We have NINE copies of the new horror film, “Hide and Seek” to give away as well. On January 7th, 2022, we’ll contact nine lucky people.
Winners for all will be chosen from the following:
• Three subscribers to our newsletter: horrorbulletin.substack.com
• Three followers of Twitter account: @HorrorMovieGuys
• Three followers of Twitter account: @HorrorBulletin
Three Issues of Horror Bulletin now available
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Check out our books!
The Horror Guys Guide to:
• The Horror Films of Vincent Price
• Universal Studios' Shock! Theater
• Universal Studios' Son of Shock!
Here. We. Go!
Santa’s Slay (2005)
• Directed by David Steiman
• Written by David Steiman
• Stars Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin
• Run Time: 1 Hour, 18 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
This one starts right out the gate with over-the-top kills and humor. Toilet humor, and Santa is played by Bill Goldberg - a big professional wrestler - so you can imagine the bombastic performance he gives. There’s quite a body count - and Santa is deadly - but it’s more comedy than horror.
It’s time for Christmas Dinner, and there’s the usual fighting and arguing. There’s a rumbling at the chimney and Santa Claus breaks in the wall. He drop kicks the poodle into the ceiling fan, stabs the father, sets the mother’s hair on fire, kicks the brother, and variously kills the others. Credits roll — so much for that outstanding celebrity cast list; they burned through all the big names in two minutes flat.
We’re in Hell Township on Christmas Eve. A cranky old woman grouches about being told “Happy Holidays” at the Jewish deli. The old woman drives down the road, and Santa pulls up behind her on his buffalo-pulled sleigh. He runs her off the road and gives a hearty “Ho Ho Ho!” Mary and Nicolas get off work at the deli; she wants to drive him home, but he’s not eager. She insists, so they head home. He doesn’t care much for Christmas, “It’s always disappointing.”
Nicolas goes inside, and we see that there are several locks and a security system. The power goes off, and he goes into the basement to flip the breaker. Grandpa’s down there looking for a light bulb. Grandpa’s an inventor, and he’s just made a portable phonograph and a lethal-looking nutcracker. He also invented brown-colored toilet paper. Grandpa shows Nicolas his secret bunker.
Meanwhile, Santa stabs a robber with a sharp candy cane. Nicolas asks why Grandpa hates Christmas. Grandpa explains the true nature of Santa Claus, and it’s not a happy picture. Mary comes to the door with some baked wolverine. She brings Nicolas a gun that transforms into a robot.
At the church, the money-grubbing Pastor Timmons is asking for generous donations. Afterwards, he goes to the strip club. Santa comes in right behind him. He’s stopped in for some Ho Ho Ho’s. He kills all the men and then sets the place on fire. He comes outside to find his buffalo has eaten the valet.
Nicolas yells at Mary because she’s into hunting and guns, and he doesn’t approve. She gets annoyed and leaves. Nicolas reads on in Grandpa’s book: Santa was the son of Satan who lost a bet and had to play good Santa for 1,000 years. That time is now up.
Some kids open their gifts and they explode, beheading them. Santa breaks into Mr. Green’s Deli and impales Green with a menorah. Nicolas finds him there, “There is a Santa Claus,” says the dying man. Nicolas tells the police captain about evil Santa, but he’s skeptical.
Evil Santa stops in at the police station and cleans house. He steals a police car and goes after Mary and Nicolas. Nicolas shoots him, which only annoys Santa. They go home and tell Grandpa what happened. They hide in the bunker as Santa arrives. Grandpa has some snowmobiles hidden away to make an escape.
Grandpa confronts Santa; they’ve known each other for centuries. Grandpa gets run over by a reindeer. Santa gets in his flying sleigh and lobs gift-wrapped grenades at the kids as they try to escape. They lead Santa right into the center of town and hide out in the high school. Nicolas and Mary have a romantic moment before Santa comes in on a Zamboni and nearly gets them until Grandpa, the angel who has been waiting all these centuries, stops him.
Grandpa challenges Santa to a curling contest again. If Grandpa wins, Santa goes back to being good forever. If he loses, he goes to Hell for eternity. Santa cheats and throws Grandpa into the Hell-hole. Nicolas shoots Santa with an exploding chestnut.
Nicolas and Mary pull Grandpa out of the hole. Santa goes back to his sleigh. They tell the trap-shooting club to shoot at a flying reindeer as Santa approaches. Just in time, Mary’s father shoots him with an RPG. Nicolas and Mary kiss; a happy ending.
Santa buys a ticket to the North Pole on an airline. He’s incognito now.
The animated bit is great; just like the real holiday specials. You know the ones.
The rest… is ridiculous. It’s juvenile humor, literally there are jokes about whether Captain Caulk or Busch are better cops. “Which do you like better?” “You don’t like Busch?” “No, I prefer Caulk.” It’s clearly aimed at twelve-year-olds and wrestling fans, a particularly focused audience. A lot of it is cringeworthy, but there are some genuinely funny moments.
There are lots of cameos here, especially in the first scene, they do appear throughout. Overall, I did like it, but expect more toilet humor than horror.
Jack Frost (1997)
• Directed by Michael Cooney
• Written by Jeremy Paige and Michael Cooney
• Stars Christopher Allport, Scott MacDonald, Shannon Elizabeth
• Run Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
What happens when a death-row murderer gets sprayed with genetic chemicals? He becomes a killer snowman. It’s got a full winter’s worth of bad puns, and overall, it’s really pretty cool. For extra fun, look for a snowman in some form, in pretty much every single scene.
We hear a story about a killer named Jack Frost who loved to kill people as the credits roll. He put body parts in pies, but he was caught because he worked at the bakery. He’s being executed tonight…
We cut to security guards driving a prisoner transport through the snowstorm. This bus contains Jack Frost. There’s another van, containing genetic research materials. Jack overpowers the guard in the back just as the two trucks collide. Jack gets doused in chemicals, which do what these things always do in movies: they melt him into the snow. Jack flops around in the snow, and later we hear that he ran off— without legs.
Sam Tyler, the sheriff who arrested Frost in the first place, still has nightmares and flashbacks. Frost vowed revenge when Sam caught him. His son Ryan, wants to make a snowman later. There’s going to be a snowman-making contest in town soon.
They get a call at the Sheriff’s office: somebody died. The old man looks frozen to death. Sam calls FBI agent Manners and asks if Jack Frost is really dead. Manners says it’s all fine and then talks to Stone, the guy from the chemical company, who knows exactly what happened.
Ryan goes outside and decorates the snowman that just suddenly appeared in their front yard overnight. Billy, the town bully, knocks the snowman’s head off. The bully is suddenly beheaded by a sled out of nowhere. Billy’s dad goes outside that evening and gets an ax through the head, butt-first. Jack the snowman decorates with Billy’s mother. Billy’s sister, Jill, was out with Tommy at the time and missed all the fun.
Sam goes to the station and finds Manners and Stone waiting for him. Stone says the creature can freeze and unfreeze at will; it can change shape. It melted, flowed under the door, and then it reformed.
Sam calls a town meeting to announce a curfew. As he talks, Paul Darrow beats on the door to come in; he’s screaming about a killer snowman. Manners knocks him out before he tells anyone the full story. Deputy Pullman goes up the mountain to check out Paul’s place and runs into Jack on the road. Then Jack runs over him.
Tommy and Jill still don’t know about the murders. They break into Sam’s house to have sex, because who wouldn’t want to have sex in the sheriff’s kitchen? Jack comes in and shoots Tommy with icicles and bad puns. Jill decides to take a bath, and the water turns into… Jack!
Agent Manners wants to call in reinforcements, but there’s a big snowstorm coming in. Agent Stone says the company should be called in. Jack appears in front of all of them, so now they know what they’re up against and they barricade themselves inside the sheriff’s office.
They load up the corridor with spray cans and aerosols then shoot it, blowing Jack up. He immediately re-forms. Stone comes clean and tells the truth about what happened to Jack. He rolls in, and they all force him back with hairdryers into the boiler furnace. He melts away forever right?
Nope— he’s back again, and this time, he bites Manners’s head. Stone walks out and throws up— Jack was hiding inside him. They figure out that antifreeze will do the job, so Ryan and Paul go off to get some while Sam and Jack face off. Sam pushes Jack out the window into a pickup truck bed full of antifreeze.
The next day they bottle up the antifreeze from the truck and bury it. This must be the end of Jack Frost, right?
There’s a lot of humor here. It’s got good production values and appropriate levels of acting. The jokes show they knew it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously but it wasn’t cheaply made or cheap-looking.
It gets sillier and sillier as it goes on, but it never gets boring and is a lot of fun. The puns get pretty thick at times, but it’s all good here. A very “cool” movie.
Short Film: A Christmas Horror Story (2021)
• Directed by Alex Magaña
• Written by Alex Magaña, Jed Brian
• Stars Marta Castellvi, Diego Paz
• Run Time: 2:45
• Watch it:
A woman starts taking down her Christmas tree— before Christmas. Her boyfriend comes in wearing a Santa suit and startles her. He goes to the store, leaving her alone with a highly insulted Christmas tree…
It’s brightly lit and very well shot. It’s a full story, with nothing really missing. It’s too short to have much of a story, but you get all you need to know here. It’s good!
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
• Directed by Michael Cooney
• Written by Michael Cooney
• Stars Christopher Allport, Eileen Seeley, Chip Heller
• Run Time: 1 Hour, 33 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
There’s not a snowman’s chance at the beach that this could be any good, but it tries. It takes the humor in the first one and forces it a little too much. It’s decent, but doesn’t match the original.
We begin with Sheriff Sam, now in therapy, talking about Jack Frost. Nobody believes his story, including the therapist. The receptionist, secretary, chef, and telephone repairman listen in and laugh. Sam is a laughingstock now, talking about a mutant killer snowman. He refuses to divulge where they buried the antifreeze in the previous film.
As credits roll, a couple of grave robbers dig up the grave of the antifreeze. Scientists pour all the antifreeze into a tank and start experimenting on it. After the scientists go home, the cleaning guy comes in and accidentally knocks cold coffee into the tank. That was the secret ingredient needed to reanimate liquid Jack. “Things to do, revenge to take,” he says as he goes down the drain.
Meanwhile, Sam and Anne are going on vacation, as per the psychiatrist’s orders. Joe and Marla are going along with them to a tropical resort. It’s been a year, and Sam needs to get out of town.
The Colonel explains all the guest’s purposes and motivations as they get off the truck, just like it was an episode of Fantasy Island(https://www.horrorguys.com/fantasy-island-2020-review/).
A couple of guys are lost at sea, and all they have to eat is a single carrot. Jack Frost kills them both to get the carrot.
The two couples are at the resort, but Sam is still having flashbacks. Captain Fun thinks he can help by cheering him up. They all wear antlers and sing Jingle Bells. Sam does perk up and says he’s over all that; after all, how could a mutant killer snowman possibly be on this tropical beach?
Rose, Ashlea, and Paisley are deciding how to divide up Ben and Dean, two guys from the bar. Ashlea gets a big snow anvil dropped on her head. Paisley and Rose soon follow, one with icicles, the other with tongs to the eyes.
The Colonel finds the bodies of the three girls and calls for his head of security, Agent Manners. Sam recognizes Manners, but Manners has a new face (and actor). Explained by having 15 surgeries to repair his injuries from the last movie. Naturally, they want to cover it up and pretend it didn’t happen to save the resort.
Jack “assists” a photographer and his swimsuit model and then kills them.
Manners explains that Captain Fun is on their side in law enforcement. The captain suggests having a dress-up costume party. Sam thinks he spots Jack at the party; Manners and Captain Fun follow along. Sam beats up the Colonel, who was wearing a snowman costume. Oops.
That night, a girl sneaks out to skinny-dip in the pool. Jack freezes the water over her, and she drowns. Afterward, he freezes some beer and enjoys “a cold one.” He unleashes his full power to winterize the surroundings
The next morning, Sam sees snow outside, on the tropical island. Captain Fun organizes a snowball fight. Somehow, most of the patrons packed long-johns and winter outfits. Jack crashes this party, and mayhem ensues.
Sam walks up to a real snowman and threatens it. Then the real Jack shows up. Manners brings super-soakers filled with antifreeze, and he and Sam go off to do battle. The others figure out that Sam and Jack linked their DNA in the final battle of the previous film, which is how he tracked them down to the island.
Bobby explains to Sam that they have drums of coolant for the generator; that might work like antifreeze. They dig a trap, fill it, and wait. Jack falls in and partially melts, but of course, that can’t kill him. He pukes up a snowball and escapes.
Joe picks up the snowball, but it won’t melt. It hatches into a tiny little snowman that immediately kills Captain Fun. It then chases them all around the room. Anne catches it in a blender and swooooosh! Then it reforms. They try other things, but it just can’t be killed.
Out in the storage shed, Manners is torn apart by dozens of the little snowballs. They act like Gremlins. The rest of the film is basically the cast chasing little fluff balls around the resort while wearing tin foil and pie plates on their legs and colanders on their heads - the best improvised armor they could come up with.
Sam loses his mind entirely, and it’s up to Anne to save the day. Sam’s allergic to bananas, and since the two are linked, Jack and his babies are as well. Now they load the super-soakers with banana juice, and the cute little fluff balls explode in a montage of bloody carnage.
Watching all his children die, Jack decides “It’s killing time.” He’s right: let’s get this travesty over with! Bobby and the Colonel get stabbed, and then Anne ends up in an ice Iron maiden. Sam shoots Jack with an arrow with a banana tied to it. Jack explodes, and Sam finds Anne in the resulting mess.
Lots more puns, lots more snow. More gore, more deaths, less fun. It’s a lot more of the same jokes and situations. Most of the (surviving) cast members returned, which does add an interesting element as Sam battles justified-PTSD.
Jack’s gotten a lot more powerful in this one, going from a simple serial killer into a being capable of controlling the weather. And he’s able to reproduce, which is an interesting trick.
Overall though, there’s not enough new here to make it worthwhile. It’s just trying too hard to be funny, and it’s just too much.
The Gingerdead Man (2005)
• Directed by Charles Band
• Written by William Butler, Dominic Muir
• Stars Gary Busey, Robin Sydney, Ryan Locke
• Run Time: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
It’s essentially “Child’s Play” with a killer cookie-puppet instead of a doll. If that sounds a little “half-baked,” you’re right. It’s really stupid. There are entertaining moments, and some decent puns but overall it doesn’t quite make a “good” bad. It’s more of a “mediocre” bad.
We start with Millard Findlemeyer shooting up a Cadillac Jack’s. He torments several of the patrons before killing them. He’s just maybe just a little crazy. He can’t bring himself to kill the final girl in the diner, he just shoots her in the arm, but he is soon captured and swears to get her and finish what he started. Credits roll.
We cut forward to a bakery, where Sarah Leigh, the survivor from his rampage, works as a baker. She looks at the newspaper clipping stating that Findlemeyer is going to be executed. She finds a box of gingerbread blend on the back porch, just in time because she was running low, and pours it into her mixture. Her assistant Brick cuts himself and accidentally drips blood into the gingerbread batter. How many health codes does this place violate?
Julia reads the paper and tells Sarah that Findlemeyer was executed two days ago, they cremated him and sent his ashes to his mother. Sarah’s mother Betty shoots at the big restaurant across the street; they want to run their bakery out of business. Jimmy Dean, the owner of the place, comes over and tells Sarah off. He offers to buy Sarah out, but she refuses.
Meanwhile, Brick mixes the gingerbread, which grows little arms when he isn’t looking. Sarah whines dramatically about her life to Brick. He goes home, and she goes into the backroom to continue baking. She rolls out the dough and stamps it with a cookie cutter and puts it in the oven.
Lorna, Jimmy Dean’s evil daughter, brings a rat inside the bakery to get them to shut down, and the two girls end up having a pie fight. And donut fight. And bun fight. They bump into the electrical box, which shorts out and provides the last ingredient needed. The gingerbread man in the oven gets all Frankensteiny and starts to laugh. Amos, Lorna’s boyfriend, comes in and opens the walk-in oven. The gingerbread man walks out and talks like Gary Busey.
The trio runs away but overhears the gingerbread man in the storeroom, eating.
Old, drunk, Betty comes back in and spots the rat. The Gingerbread man confronts her, and she puts down the booze. The little man picks up a knife and cuts her finger off. She recognizes his voice as Millard Findlemeyer. He then whacks Julia over the head with a frying pan.
Amos goes out to his car and gets a gun. The trio isn’t smart enough to just leave through the unlocked front door. Amos comes inside, and Lorna asks, “Can you get us outside?” to which he says there’s no way, even though we just saw him walk in the front in the same, uncut scene. Really?
We stop all the action so Amos and Sarah can flirt and reminisce about her sixth birthday party, completely forgetting the “cereal” killer on the other side of the door.
Jimmy Dean shows up looking for Lorna, but gets run over by Findlemeyer in his own car. Sarah explains Findlemeyer’s resurrection as a cookie to Amos, but he’s skeptical for some reason. Lorna steps into a booby-trap and gets a knife stuck in her head.
Rick shows up out of nowhere, “Your ass is toast!” he cries. Rick bites him in the head as Julia hits him from behind. Rick literally eats the villain. “Got milk?”
A bit later, Brick looks in the mirror and has funny eyes. “It’s not over yet.” The others leave, but Sarah goes back inside for Brick, “Gimme some sugar, baby!” Amos and Julia push him into the oven and cook him good.
Sarah’s father and brother were killed in the pre-credit sequence, and we never stop hearing about Sarah’s personal dramas. It’s pretty dull stuff, and it’s not well-acted enough to sell it.
These super-low budget tongue-in-cheek horror parodies are never well-acted, but this one takes the, uh, cake. I mean, it’s really crummy. The acting here is truly flaky. The creature effects are limited to a puppet with Gary Busey’s voice.
Seriously, the story is awful. At any point, they could have walked out either the front or the back door and just left the bakery, but instead, they roamed all over this three-room bakery until they were picked off one-by-one.
And don’t get me started on that huge, walk-in oven. Is this a bakery or a crematorium?
A House on the Bayou (2021)
• Directed by Alex McAulay
• Written by Alex McAulay
• Stars Angela Serafyan, Paul Schneider, Lia McHugh
• Run Time: 1 Hour, 28 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
The unnerving horror thriller A HOUSE ON THE BAYOU is now available On Digital and On Demand! A family vacation in rural Louisiana takes a sinister turn when neighbors show up for dinner uninvited, testing the family's fragile bond and forcing dark secrets to come to light. Buy or Rent A HOUSE ON THE BAYOU and watch it today. Unrated. From Paramount Pictures.
We both liked this a lot. It was not what either of us expected from the trailer.
John comes home from work to find that his wife Jessica has discovered his affair with Vivienne. He tries to deny it, but she has photos. She doesn’t want to divorce him, but she insists that the two of them and their daughter should go on a vacation. He agrees to stop the affair immediately. Credits roll as ominous music plays.
They drive to a huge plantation-looking house. Daughter Anna is impressed. It’s very large and very isolated. It’s a working vacation, as Jessica is a Realtor who will be making a virtual tour for the house to be shown. She bosses John around, making him pay for his indiscretion.
John and Anna go to town to pick up a few things, and they meet a teenager, Isaac, who introduces himself to Anna. He’s older than she is, but she likes him. The old man behind the counter is weird. On the way out, John finds a note saying, “You are being watched by the devil” written on his receipt.
There’s a locked room that they don’t have a key for. That room’s not even on the blueprint. Isaac stops over and invites them all to dinner tonight; they are the nearest neighbors. The old man at the counter was his grandpa. There’s some friction about their dinner plans, so Jessica agrees they should go.
Later, Isaac comes to the door again; their oven broke, so they brought food to them. John asks Grandpappy about the devil note, but the old man doesn’t really clarify very much. Grandpappy makes them all very nice meal. Isaac knows where the candles are without being shown. The parents step out of the room for matches and to discuss getting these strange people out of the house. When they come back, Anna says Isaac lit the candles with his finger. What a trick!
Jessica tells Isaac that they need to leave after dinner, but he doesn’t want to leave. He knows all about the locked room, and even predicts when Anna has her next nosebleed. They insist that Isaac leave, but he doesn’t go willingly.
The power goes out, and Isaac gets creepier. The cat somehow gets into the secret room, and they all hear something in there killing the cat.
Isaac goes to the bathroom, and Grandpappy tells them what’s what. The old man says that when men lie and cheat, it opens a door. “He just sort of appeared one summer. Walked right out of the bayou.” Grandpappy doesn’t even know his last name, so he took him in. He’s been staying with Grandpappy for decades— and he never gets any older.
Grandpappy puts on a record off the shelf, and it turns out to be a recording of John talking to Vivienne, promising he’d leave his wife for her. Ouch! John denies everything and thinks Grandpappy is trying to blackmail them.
Isaac walks in; he’s carrying a perfectly healthy cat. John thinks Jessica has paid the two locals to play a mind game with him. Jessica and John argue while everyone else just watches the show. Anna screams; she sees some kind of large animal out on the lawn.
Isaac and John go outside to look for the animal. Turns out, it was John who hired these two to break in and kill Jessica. John accuses Isaac of screwing with the deal. John doesn’t like Isaac’s “Voodoo shit,” but Isaac insists on doing it his way. Inside, Jessica tries to make a deal with Grandpappy.
Isaac comes back in and says he’s going to lock them in the room upstairs. He opens the door and sends John inside first then locks him in. There’s something nasty in the closet.
The doorbell rings; it’s Vivienne. John texted her to come here, but it was actually Isaac using John’s phone. Jessica tells her to go to the police, and Vivienne gives her some mace to use as a weapon. Vivienne’s car suddenly refuses to start. Grandpappy brings out a can of gas and fries Vivienne and her car. Jessica then beats Grandpappy to death with a hammer. She then gives Anna Grandpappy’s shotgun and her mace and goes inside after John.
She goes upstairs to the room, and sees the demonic coyote and what’s left of John. She says goodbye and closes the door on him.
Isaac comes out and talks to Anna. He quickly gets the gun away from her. He wants to kidnap her away and marry her. Jessica runs up, and Isaac explains John’s plan. Anna uses the mace and Jessica gets the gun and shoots him. He says he’s been alive for centuries; maybe he’s a demon, or an angel, or just a confused kid. He gives them the car keys, and they hop in the car, which starts right away.
The next morning at the sheriff’s office, the sheriff explains that there’s no house like that anywhere out there. The pictures of the house are gone from her phone. The sheriff drives Jessica to the address, but there’s no house there and no sign there ever was. She finds her lost wedding ring in the grass; yes, this is the right place. Then, Isaac and Grandpappy show up. Isaac takes care of this town…
Why would anyone want to go on vacation to a bayou with mosquitoes and alligators in the first place?
Still, there were surprises here that neither of us saw coming.
It’s very creepy and suspenseful throughout. The music is great. It’s not quite clear for a long time whether there’s really anything supernatural about Isaac or not. At first, it seems to be, but then once things start twisting, you aren’t sure any more. The ending is pretty cool too; there could be sequels in the works.
The Deep House (2021)
• Directed by Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
• Written by Alexandre Bustillo, Julien David, Julien Maury
• Stars Camille Rowe, James Jagger, Eric Svain
• Run Time: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
A claustrophobic underwater haunted house. If that sounds like your kind of thing, give it a watch, although the story has some real problems, and nothing is really explained.
Tina and Ben, a young couple, go to an abandoned sanatorium. They explore abandoned buildings for their streaming channel. They do a flyover with a drone. Seven children were murdered here, and supposedly the nurse still haunts the hallways.
Three months later, Tina’s holding her breath underwater in the bathtub. She made it up to 1:22 for her best breath-holding time. She tells Ben three minutes and he says “that’s it?” They’re going scuba diving. Credits roll.
They’re in a small, mostly abandoned, village in France. They get directions to the secret spot on the lake, and there’s crowds of vacationers there; it’s a crowded park now. Ben wants more views on his YouTube channel, and this place isn’t going to get them more likes & subscribes. Tina wants him to stop worrying and just enjoy their travels.
Ben talks to a guy who knows a “proper secret spot” that has a perfectly preserved house at the bottom of the lake. Pierre explains that the lake was flooded voluntarily back in the 80s. They park the van and cover the last few miles by foot, but eventually, they arrive.
They get their scuba stuff set up, and Ben has an underwater drone as well. Ben explains that they have sixty minutes of air, and then they dive. First, they find a car that’s in surprisingly good condition.
At thirty meters down, they find the walled gate to the property with “No trespassing” signs posted. They don’t find a house, they find a crypt. No, there is a house as well. All the doors and windows are sealed, but they find a way in through the attic window.
All the furniture is still inside the house. It’s murky and hard to see, but they go through from room to room. They start hearing a voice- was it on their radio or somewhere else? Most of the stuff inside is surprisingly well preserved.
The drone dies, and they have to reboot it. They find scratches on the inside of the front door, as if something was trying to get out. The drone detects movement, but Ben and Tina don’t see anything. Tina is creeped out and wants to leave, but Ben insists they search out the rest of the rooms. They find many posters of missing children.
They discover a huge cross mounted to a door. What’s on the other side? They pull down the cross and go inside. They can’t see anything. Then they find loads of film and a pair of human figures hanging from chains. They find a huge trap door with a pentagram on it. There are also jars with body parts in them.
They start to head back upstairs to leave. “It’s more than a haunted house, it’s a crime scene,” yells Tina. When they get to the attic window to leave, they find it bricked up. Tina panics, and Ben has to talk her through calming down. Tina sees a ghost behind Ben, but he doesn’t see it.
They go back downstairs to try and break one of the windows. The windows won’t break, and the shutters won’t open. Ben and the dead couple vanish, and Tina gets hooked on a chain. She panics, and when she recovers, the bodies are back, and Ben is still there.
Suddenly, the two dead bodies come alive and start to chase them. They shut them in a room and try to get out through the chimney, which collapses on them. Somehow, Ben and Tina get split up in the process.
Ben finds a family tree for the Monetgnacs, the people who lived in this house, and he sees that Pierre was their son. Ben starts acting weird, as if he’s possessed. Tina feels something crawling around inside her suit. “It’s only a snake,” says Ben. “Swallow it,” he says. She flushes her mask. “Soon, you’ll have nothing to be afraid of,” he adds.
Ben suddenly knows where there’s a secret door that he opens. The two enter a home theater room, and the projector turns on. They watch Pierre and his father. They kidnapped neighbor kids and sacrificed them. When the neighbors came for them in vengeance, only Pierre escaped
Ben and Tina fight as the dead people close in. She stabs him in the shoulder, and he wakes up from being possessed. Sarah the ghost stabs him again, and now he’s not getting away. As the three ghosts come for Tina, she finds that she’s at 0% air. She takes a deep breath and goes through a tunnel without her equipment. She comes out of the tunnel inside the crypt, and she manages to break those doors open.
She heads to the surface, but it’s been an awfully long time, so she drowns. She probably shouldn’t have lied about her breath-hold time…
Ben has some really expensive-looking drones for a guy whose YouTube channel only gets 50,000 views on his best video. I don’t think YouTube pays that well.
There’s lots of creepy imagery here. It’s a fairly standard haunted house story, although this time it has the added gimmick of being underwater and often hard to see anything. After the first ten minutes, there’s literally no acting involved; it’s guys in suits and masks underwater. The main characters could have been replaced by stuntmen or really good CGI for all I could tell. There was lots of talking, which was certainly dubbed after the fact.
There’s some stuff about kidnapping children and sacrificing them and pentagrams and stuff, but it’s really just an underwater haunted house film. Even with that, it all feels unexplained and pointless. They were Satanic child pornographers who were killed by the locals. OK, so why are they ghosts? Why did Pierre trick the couple into going down there? Why is Pierre’s sister a ghost when she was a prisoner as well? What did Pierre hope to accomplish? What did the ghosts want? There may have been some kind of logic to all this, but it was never explained.
If you are aqua-phobic or claustrophobic, this movie could be pretty tense for you. After a while, I just got tired of watching the blurry bubbles.
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Get ready for next week, where we’ll be watching some more classics. We’ll watch four more horror films, including “Dead End,” from 2003, “Wind Chill” from 2007, “The Children” from 2008, and “Saint” from 2010. We’ll also talk about the brand new non-Christmas film, “Hide & Seek” from 2021.
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