Christmas hangovers are the worst.
After spending an entire week of planning for, celebrating, and recovering from Christmas activities, we spent the entire weekend doing nothing. Of course I could have used this to catch up on screeners or work on my upcoming horror film post. I could have even done real work…but no. I did nothing.
I did, however, cruise facebook and saw that The Tour was taken off of private status on Youtube for a short period of time. It’s currently making it’s festival rounds and I didn’t think I’d get to it outside of a film festival for a while. All it took was some luck and a lazy afternoon. I was lucky too because the short is pretty good. It’s simple, but effective.
Without giving too much away, Jessica Cameron and Heather Dorff are on vacation in England and take in a haunted house tour with guide Tom (Tom Gordon). He gives a creepy history of about an estate called Darkmoor Manor that immediately conjures a Grudge like memory. The three share a drink at a pub, and Cassie (Dorff) is smitten by Tom. He reciprocates, and she can’t pass up a chance to be with him…even if it means seeing the inside of Darkmoor.
The photography is great for The Tour. Everything is real crisp, and the results are terrific. Directors Alex Mathieson and Damon Rickard are quite comfortable in the lighting and mood shifts of the film. The dialogue flows fairly well, but Tom steals the film with his initial recantation of the house and its history. The directors capture this moment well.
Cameron and Dorff are both asked to play naive American damsels in distress. Cameron’s character is supposed to be the voice of reason to Dorff’s impulsive nature, but she ends up being more of an additional victim necessary to set up the story. She’s not asked to do much but give Dorff a sense of security to embark into the house with Tom. Both Cameron and Dorff do fine in these rolls, but a better setup may have been to include a romantic interest for Cameron to warrant her presence.
With that being said, I enjoyed this film a lot. I can find faults in many of favorite films, but they don’t make me love them less. This is a simple haunted house story with a pretty good setup. At one point, Tom references Hostel and that immediately set up a comparison in my head to that film. It feels like a mash-up between Hostel and The Grudge. There’s not much gore, and the directors set up a good back story. The set up is as good (if not better) than the payoff, and it twists and turns throughout before settling into itself.
It’s definitely worth a look.