11th Feb2014

‘Muirhouse’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Iain McDonald, Kate Henderson, Steve Lynch, Libby Ashby, David Saporito, Jordie McKay, Lewis Ryan, Jacob Turner, Jack Walsh | Written and Directed by Tanzeal Rahim


Ghosts always catch people’s interest whether it be a “live investigation” or the latest found footage horror film that promises to be the scariest thing you’ve ever seen.  Muirhouse is a movie based on what is said to be one of the most haunted houses in Australia, and yes it features people walking around a house with cameras pickup up all the “footage” that takes place.

Set in 2007 author Phillip Muirhouse takes part in an investigation into the infamous Monte Cristo homestead, said to be one of the most haunted places in Australia.  Agreeing to meet up with a group of investigators to take part in the investigation he breaks the number one rule of ghost hunting, never be alone.

Muirhouse is a film that in many ways doesn’t work, but is still interesting.  The main character Philip Muirhouse (Iain P.F. McDonald) spends the most of the film setting up the cameras then moving around trying to find out where noises are coming from.  The electricity keeps on getting turned off, leading to him having to venture out to a shed in the garden to turn it back on only to have stranger things happening.  The cameras hardly pick anything up and except for a fairly mediocre ending that’s all we see.  The reason it’s not an all-out failure though is the setting itself which is actually creepy.

With enough questions left at the end of the film it does make you think about what you’ve just seen but to just show how much of a failure it arguably is the special features on the disc include a documentary based on real ghost hunting taking place in the house, which is a lot more interesting than the film itself.  For fans of shows like Most Haunted orGhost Hunters I’m sure the idea of the film taking place in a “real” haunted house will actually catch their attention, and the history of the house will be interesting but for most looking for some fun, Muirhouse just doesn’t really deliver when it should.

I’m not against the found footage style of film making and I do give the movies that use this method a chance.  I’d even say that over the last year and more we’ve had some good films such as V/H/S and its sequel that have shown what can be done, but Muirhouse just doesn’t tap into what can work with found footage, even if it tries.  I will say though that the documentary that is included is worth a watch, even if it’s to be taken with a pinch of salt.  Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the history of houses like this still tend to be interesting, whether fictional or not.

Muirhouse may be made with good intentions and may use the history of a house that is actually interesting but as a horror film it just fails to deliver where it matters.  With a weak wrap around story and scenes where hardly anything actually happens there is no shock value until it’s too late.  Sometimes it can be good to not show too much in terms of what sneaks around in the darkness, but when a movie only has that potential fear to deliver, maybe we need to be allowed to see it.

Muirhouse is available on DVD now from Monster Pictures.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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