Creepy old houses in the middle of nowhere are perfect settings for horror cinema. Close neighbours are few and far between, which is often for the best considering how odd they usually are. There are no passers-by to raise the alarm or hear, say, a chainsaw doing its work. Mobile phone signal is sporadic, at best, but it’s the building itself which hides the greatest dangers. What happened to the last owners? A pertinent question in The Cellar.
When the Woods family move to their new home, Keira (Elisha Cuthbert) and Brian (Eoin Macken) hope it will be a fresh start. Steven (Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady) loves it but older sister Ellie (Abby Fitz) is far from impressed. This unease heightens thanks to the strange artifacts the previous owners have left behind. When Ellie suddenly disappears in the cellar, Keira desperately digs into the history of house to uncover the truth.
The Cellar is a solid haunted house horror which basks in the occult and the mysteries of dark and corrupt science. There’s nothing especially new here, but the first half is handled much better than in most similar movies. The ending doesn’t quite live up to the promise, but there’s still much to enjoy. Writer/Director Brendan Muldowney concentrates on the intrigue, mixing the corporeal with the unknown to ensure The Cellar is a chilling family nightmare.
The Cellar open is US cinemas on 15 April, streaming on Shudder globally on the same day.