23rd Jul2014

‘The Unleashed’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Trisha Echeverria, Jessica Salgueiro, Colin Paradine, Caroline Williams, Suzanne Farla, Malcolm McDowell, Shane Harbinson, Peter Valdron, L.A. Lopes, Anna Jane Edmonds, Joseph Cannata | Written by Diane Da Silva, L.A. Lopes | Directed by Manuel H. Da Silva

the-unleashed-dvd

There are some horror movies that stick to one of the many horror formulas so rigidly that they become a silly experience.  The Unleashed is a movie that does this with the Ouija board and possession tropes and grips on to them for dear life.  With possessions, pentagrams and ghosts with unfinished business it may not be the best of movies, but it still manages to be watchable at least.

After her mother’s death Madison Kennard (Echeverria) returns to the family home to finally face her past.  When Lindsay (Salgueiro) a family friend hears she is back, she looks to reconnect their old friendship and it’s not long before she’s moved her way into the house to keep Madison company and a home warming party is planned.  When a Ouija board is discovered in the attic though things soon turn dark as it seems spirits have been called up that don’t want to leave.

The first thing you have to realise when you watch The Unleashed is that this is the type of film which you normally find on the Syfy channel late at night, or other movie channels that have picked up a made for television horror.  This may sound mean, but in truth it’s not.  This is a fairly low-budget film that has its sights set on catching your attention late at night and actually entertaining you, and for the most part it does.  There are some nice touches such as a scene where one of the characters plays a piano and an unseen ghost plays along with him with a violin but for the most part there is nothing really that new.

In my view when it comes to horror there are some horrors that are fairly generic and The Unleashed is definitely one of them, but even in its generic nature it is entertaining and it is a film that I would probably end up watching if I discovered it when looking for something to watch.  There is enough of a mystery to keep you interested and the acting is good enough not to have you groan at some of the lines the characters have to say, and that really has to be seen as a plus.  Just don’t expect anything new and really you won’t be disappointed.  The Unleashing is not a movie that is trying to revolutionise the horror genre, it’s just trying to fit in with other movies that use the same premise, and for the most part actually use it worse than we see here.

When looking at The Unleashed at the straight to DVD/made for television level I would actually argue that it is above the standard that we come to expect.  The use of the Ouija board is somewhat overdone by now, even if there is a new movie currently based on it and the old-fashioned use of the pentagram that you’ll see in the film feels cliché, which it often does in many other things that use it (like Supernatural) but in truth these are tropes that work, even if we’ve seen them before.

The Unleashed isn’t the type of movie that is a must see hit and in truth I don’t think it reached for those heights.  Watch it with low expectations and just want a fun little movie based on silly old-fashioned horror tropes and you may just find that you enjoy it.

The Unleashed is available on DVD now from 101 Films.

*** 3/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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