House on Willow Street follows a gang of kidnappers who attempt to use a young woman as leverage to get some riches from a wealthy family. As everyone begins to experience horrific visions one by one, it would seem this young woman is more than she seems. Do they heed her warnings and let her go, or attempt to ride out the hauntings and try to get the money?
House on Willow Street Review
I really wanted to like this movie because of the effects work and strong pacing, but it just falls short in so many attributes, it's hard to love. The actors don't help brighten an already dull script that fails to drive a plot with some interesting elements. Because the plot is wasted on weak storytelling, we get something that is more easily dismissed.
The effects for the entities that haunt the characters are very well done. In particular, the large man featured in our comic was grotesque in all the right ways. But these effects were undone by weak writing and diluted by CG that reared its ugly head as we shifted into the final act. I don't want to discount the effects work here, but the movie did that for me anyways...
There were parts of the climax I appreciated. Without ruining it, there was a good use of the plot's flow to a reasonable twist of sorts. It wasn't enough to salvage the rest of the movie, that just lacked vibrance and edge. Despite a necessity to be interested in the characters in order to drive the plot, I found myself completely uninterested in their individual plights. It was something one could argue that The Windmill could have struggled with, but it had the wit and black humor to help pull it through.
There just isn't enough substance and value to pull this promising film into something worth a second viewing. It also doesn't reach the level of absolute disappointment after watching it. It falls right in between, in the median of average low-tier budget films. Objectively it deserves to be there, but on an emotional level, I'm more upset than usual because it felt like a waste of a promising plot and strong effects.