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The Cellar Movie Review

The Cellar Movie Review
“The Cellar” is dark, scary, and deeper than you think.

Spoiler Alert: If you want to get the most out of creepy new horror release "The Cellar," do not watch the film's entire trailer. Trailers these days tend to give away too much in an effort to create interest. In this case, the first half of the trailer is convincing enough to put the film on your watch list. It sets up the recognizable story of a family moving into a creepy house, but that is quickly subverted by the addition of mathematical references and symbols: abacuses calculate on their own; a stern voice on a victrola record recites an equation. Fear of something about the cellar abounds. This collection of ideas is all you need to know that there is more here than the generic "scary makeup and jump scares" horror movie. The second half of the trailer may spoil the fun, and "The Cellar" deserves more than that.

The current variety of channels available to view a movie has created a demand for content that provides an extraordinary opportunity for genre filmmakers. Distributors and streaming services can now cater to their content-hungry audience, but they also need to keep up their supply to match demand. This need has led to the development of "Written and Directed By Syndrome," a condition where the writer/director is too close to the project and loses the objectivity that is necessary to effectively evaluate their own work. Even within the inherent creative freedoms of the horror genre, this can cause an otherwise reliable premise to falter: the narrative gets muddy, too many plot-related questions arise, and opportunities are replaced by cliches.

When this happens it is frustrating for audiences because so many of these issues could have been addressed at the stage of screenplay revision or storyboard development, but the writer/director's subjectivity doesn't allow for the clarity of vision needed to recognize and resolve issues early in the creative process. Thankfully, Brendan Muldowney ("Pilgrimage"), writer/director of "The Cellar," has successfully avoided the syndrome's myopic trap by taking the time and effort to develop his work with skill and craftsmanship. The result is an entertaining and horrific nail-biter full of unexpected twists and turns.

"The Cellar" does not take its audience for granted. Since the film's title pretty much gives away its "there's something in the cellar" premise, no time is wasted getting to the point - the tone, characters, and their relationships and motivations, are all clearly provided within the first two minutes. Each shot in the opening sequence, as well as the entire film, is structured to communicate relevant character and plot information with great efficiency. Info or props that seem innocuous in one scene, such as a book, toy ball, or flashlight, become connecting threads in future scenes. This isn't a forced or obvious method to create an "aha!" moment; instead it intelligently creates a shared experience of familiarity and discovery between the film and its audience. As a result, this almost subliminal technique effectively produces an intimate and participatory sense of fear within the viewer.

As mentioned in the spoiler warning, the plot of "The Cellar" takes a turn toward the esoteric instead of the expected. Soon after moving into a new house, Keira (Elisha Cuthbert) finds herself searching for her rebellious, missing teenage daughter Ellie (Abby Fitz), and the film takes its time transforming from a police procedural to an exploration into Lovecraftian darkness. Frustrated with the authorities' lack of progress in finding Ellie, Keira is compelled to investigate the house's peculiarities and history, and her hopes become horrors as each piece of the investigation unveils a new degree of evil ingrained in the structure's foundation.

"The Cellar" is unique when compared with other contemporary horror productions. With its lack of foul language, gory violence, or any adult situations, it could almost be categorized as a "made for tv movie." However, the absence of such elements in no way minimizes the potential for a frightening viewing experience. The film's convincing performances, subtle camera work, and narrative efficiency also contribute to its successful scares, and all are superbly supported by a haunting sound design and score.

Viewers more knowledgeable in general mystic iconography may become frustrated with the slow progress that the film's characters make in interpreting the information they are uncovering, but it is justified from the characters' point of view. And, the journey into the unknown that starts in their cellar goes very, very deep. How deep? The film's credits include, "Space-Time Structure by Erwin Schrodinger, Reproduced with Permission of the Licensor." If you know, you know - and if you don't, don't Google it until after you watch the film. Either way, "The Cellar" is worthy of your time, no matter what dimension you are in.

The Cellar Movie Review By Les Baird

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Cellar Movie Review The Cellar Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, April 17, 2022 Rating: 5


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