For a filmschool project, aspiring documentary filmmaker Maya
(Megan Davis) invites a few of her best friends (Caitlin Singer, J.A.
Cuffs Bratten, Brandon Lee Pittman, Tiffany Ann Bicheler) to join her on a
research project on an abandoned asylum that's supposed to be haunted -
since decades ago, one of the patients, Isaac (John Bernath) went on a
killing spree. After they have collected some fine interviews, our five
heroes decide to pretty much break into the asylum - which is built atop
(and connected to) a system of abandoned mines - for a few atmosphere
shots. Right upon entering, they feel there's something wrong, especially
Maya who has spent some time at an asylum as a patient herself not too
long ago, but at first nothing is tangible ... until Maya's ex Brad
(Trinidad Amaya) shows up, who has just never come over their break-up -
and when she doesn't want to get back together with him, he threatens
everyone with a switchblade knife and is about to kill someone when ...
suddenly he is dragged into the wall and brutally slaughtered. Because
what nobody told our heroes of course was that Isaac has never left the
asylum (no explanation is given as to how he has survived or whether it's
just his ghost) ... and he has picked exactly that day to go on another
killing spree - and our five explorers seem to be hand-picked victims.
Will anyone survive?
True, it does take Animus a bit to
kick into gear, a bit too much time is spent on subplots that lead nowhere
in particular, on characters that are then abandoned, and on the set-up of
this rather straightforward story as such. But once it does kick into
gear, it goes into overdrive in no time, perfectly blending action and
atmosphere, suspense and outbreaks of excessive violence - all helped of
course in equal parts by expert pacing and great camerawork, and a compact
cast and wonderful locations.
Not an outright masterpiece maybe (as
mentioned, the first half drags a bit), but once things get nasty, they
get very nasty indeed ...