On Alastair Orr’s From A House On Willow Street (2016)

by Kayann Mitchell

I caught the screening of From A House On Willow Street as it made its Canadian debut at the second last night of the Toronto After Dark film fest. Lucky genre fans were fortunate to have the filmmakers and cast on hand to hand out swag and bring an overwhelming sense of fun and energy to their film.

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It opens with Hazel (Sharni Vinson), Ade (Steven John Ward) and Mark (Zino Ventura) planning a kidnapping. The plan is to kidnap heiress Katherine (Carlyn Burchell) and ransom her for a stash of diamonds that Hazel knows are hidden in the house. However upon entering the house on Willow Street things seem eerily easy. They quickly find Katherine and take her into captivity. Thinking they’ve made a score that could change their lives, the group begins to record their ransom tape when things begin to take a turn for the strange. In short order they realize they have bitten off way more than they can chew.

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I wish I could rate a film based on intention and drive cause that would have garnered From a House on Willow Street a perfect 10. The fun loving cast and crew made me desperately want to love this film, but sadly the execution left me wanting more. It’s shot beautifully and has a rather innovative premise which I’ve never witnessed before, but it stumbles a bit with the acting and some confusion in the third half. It just never quite gelled for me. However, if you are looking for a tightly paced interesting take on the possession genre, give this flick a shot. Who knows? You may love it.

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