4 June 2016 | Michael_Elliott
A Lot Better Than I Was Expecting
Don't Look in the Basement 2 (2015)
** (out of 4)
A mental hospital is the setting as boss Emily (Camilla Carr) tells her crew that they've got a new patient coming. It turns out that Sam (Willie Minor) was in a sanitarium where he murdered eight people in 1972. Dr. William (Andrew Sensenig) is given his case and it doesn't take long for everyone to realize that something isn't right.
DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT was a shocking hit back in 1972 even though it featured no stars or much of a budget. The film was directed by cult favorite S.F. Brownrigg and it remained popular throughout the last couple decades thanks to its public domain status, which meant people had easy access to it. This direct sequel took over thirty years to materialize and it was co-written and directed by Tony Brownrigg, the original director's son.
It seems doing sequels to these older movies is something that is catching on because another 70s favorite, SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT also got the sequel treatment. I went into this expecting something quite awful and was shocked not to get that. In fact, I was rather amazed at the technical quality of the picture because you'd never know that you were watching a low-budget movie. The cinematography by Chuck Hatcher makes this seem like a Hollywood picture because of how great it is. The editing, the score and one of the songs played throughout were also extremely good.
Another shock was the fact that all of the performances were extremely good and believable, which is something I rarely say for a film like this. If you're familiar with the first film then you'll remember Carr and it was great getting to see her return here. Brownrigg does a very good job in the director's chair but I must say that the only disappointing thing was the actual screenplay. There's simply not enough going on here to keep you glued to the screen for the rather short 82 minutes.
I really wish that a better or fuller story had been done. Everything is here for a good movie but it falls just short because there's way too much talking going on and there's needed to be a bit more plot development. Still, DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT 2 was a shocking surprise and manages to be better than the first film.