16th Nov2020

‘Widow’s Point’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Craig Sheffer, KateLynn E. Newberry, Dominic Luongo, Kaelin Lamberson, John Renna, Richard Satterwhite, Michael Thurber, Willow Anwar, Kim Piazza, Paul McGinnis, Amy Hoffman, Billy Chizmar, Constance Caldwell, Bob Rusch | Written and Directed by Gregory Lamberson

Written and directed by Gregory Lamberson (who also helmed the fantastic Johnny Gruesome), and based on the book by Billy & Richard Chizmar, Widow’s Point is an old-school haunted house tale – only set in a lighthouse – which tells the story of Thomas Livingston, an author desperate for a hit, who spends a weekend locked in a haunted lighthouse as a publicity stunt for his next book. As Livingston delves into the lighthouse’s terrifying history, he is targeted by powerful supernatural forces…

Though it’s not billed as such, Widow’s Point is, for all intents and purposes, an anthology film. Sheffer’s author Thomas reads and recalls (and has nightmares about) various stories that have a connection to the lighthouse in which he resides; narrating the stories with the kind of dee-toned voiceover that sounds like it belongs in a hard-boiled detective movie or film noir, rather than a horror film.

We have a brief story about an actress who, whilst working on a film set, is driven to suicide by evil spirits; spirits who then compel a man to kill his entire family; a tourist who’s driven insane on a visit to the lighthouse; a young girl who seemingly comes across the lair of a Cthulhu-esque creature and his disciples and is haunted by the same undead bride that taunts the lighthouses other victims.

Unlike other anthologies, Widow’s Point has a longer, more in-depth, “wraparound” tale. The story of Livingston, who stays at the lighthouse under the watchful eye of his publicist Rosa (KateLynn E. Newberry), who’s monitoring his weekend stay – literally. Though she’s not much use, straight away she’s so engrossed by Livingston that she misses ghosts that are right behind her. So much so it becomes something got a running joke; though I’m not sure if its supposed to be humourous or not.

Sheffer’s Thomas Livingston is a man who’s desperation leads to his total annihilation, an on-the-nose diatribe on fame-hungry celebrity and clout-chasing wannabes if ever I saw one! Livingston’s story is filled with the usual haunted house cliches – in this case salty water (after all the lighthouse is on the coast), maggot-infested food, malfunctioning equipment, weird noises. You know the usual… Oh, and that undead bride turns up again too!

To be fair to Lamberson, Widow’s Point is the antithesis of his other work – foregoing over the top characters, gore and action for a more subtle form of storytelling, really going for a creeping terror more than out-and-out scares. Eventually rewarding viewers who sit through the stereotypical haunting house tale with an ending that harkens back to the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Ultimately ending up as both a brilliant showcase for actor Craig Sheffer and a welcome, and refreshing, change of pace for writer/director Gregory Lamberson.

Widow’s Point is out now on DVD and Digital from 101 Films.

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