I never know what to expect when I walk into a horror flick. A good horror movie will keep you on the edge of your seat. It will make you unable to tear your eyes away even in the most gruesome and eerie moments. A good horror film will stay with you long after you finish it, popping into your mind whenever you look at the shadows for too long.
But at this point, the genre has basically been done to death. Which means that filmmakers diving into the genre have a lot to overcome. Is this scene scary or cheesy? Is this twist realistic, or even surprising? Do these characters have depth, or are they the stock horror characters we know all too well? The Basement crosses these lines a little too often to truly be considered a good movie. But that’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. In fact, it might make the perfect film for horror newbies. “An Intro To Horror”, as it were, for all those who scare easy.
The Basement follows a group of international students celebrating after completing their exams. But when the party moves into a basement that has been abandoned for years, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Something haunts these long-forgotten walls. But is it human, or something unimaginable?
The Basement really plays off of mystery and confusion. At first, you’re convinced that the villain haunting our group must be some sort of supernatural entity. But soon, you’re not so sure. You find yourself bouncing back and forth between endless possibilities, and this isn’t something I see often in horror flicks anymore. It was a bit of a bold move, but one that, in my opinion, paid off.
While some of our protagonists had their moments, there wasn’t anything that made them stand apart. It’s where many horror movies go wrong. It’s all about the thrill, and not about the characters. And this made for some awkward scenes. It’s hard to feel empathetic or even sympathetic to characters we don’t know or understand. The film didn’t waste much time getting into the action, but taking those few extra minutes to let us get to know the protagonists would’ve helped rather than hurt this film. We needed more context. It would have made the film’s ending much more impactful.
This being said, The Basement isn’t without its creepy moments. You’ll never look at mannequins the same way again. And if you’re afraid of dolls like myself, this film will only reinforce that fear. I applaud their camerawork, especially considering their small budget. It was seamless, adding to the suspense and dread that followed our characters until the last second. Switching between first and third person doesn’t always work, but in this particular case, it added a personal element. Though the character development was sub-par, the cinematography made us feel like part of the group.
This film isn’t your standard horror movie. Though it displays suspenseful thrills, there’s very little gore. Most of the horror is left to our imagination, which is why I think The Basement acts as the perfect introductory horror flick. It’s on the shorter side and isn’t very gruesome at all. But it contains enough scares to get your blood pumping. And there are enough dialogue scenes to break up the action and not be too overwhelming for the audience. If you’re a horror newbie, I’d definitely give The Basement a try! But if you’re a big horror fan, I’d probably take a pass on this flick.