DVD Review: The House on Pine Street

Haunted house movies have been a staple of the horror genre for decades now. There have been three great periods so far, beginning with the classics of The Haunting, House on Haunted Hill and The Innocents. The 1980s saw a renaissance (or 1979 when it comes to The Amityville Horror) including The Shining, The Changeling and Poltergeist. The last notable period was at the turn of the century with The Others and The Grudge scaring the pants off audiences. We appear to be experiencing another fertile patch, but as yet there has been nothing which has really stood out. Sadly, The House on Pine Street continues this trend.

Heavily pregnant and trying to recover from the effects of a mental breakdown, Jennifer (Emily Goss) returns to her hometown in Kansas with her husband Luke (Taylor Bottles). Her mother (Cathy Barnett) is delighted by her daughter’s return but Jennifer wants to get back to Chicago as soon as possible. Struggling to cope with fears of motherhood she begins to experience strange happenings in the house, but is she going mad or is there something malignant at work?

There’s a lot to recommend Aaron and Austin Keeling’s film. It’s well made and well acted but lacks that extra something to make it really stand out from the crowd. Having said that, it’s head and shoulders above much of the abysmal work that occupies genre cinema. There are enough jumps and bumps to keep the audience interested and a level of tension which steady loiters in the background. Whilst by no means perfect, The House on Pine Street is an enjoyable diversion.

The House on Pine Street is released on DVD by Second Run on Monday.

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