Review: ‘Dark Remains’

A considerable advance for director-writer Brian Avenet-Bradley and his producer-cinematographer wife Laurence from their prior indie horrors "Ghost of the Needle" and "Freez'er," "Dark Remains" is a genuinely creepy ghost story that packs maximum dread per reel. DVD-distrib deals should be forthcoming at home and abroad. Cable sales are possible, theatrical exposure less likely.

A considerable advance for director-writer Brian Avenet-Bradley and his producer-cinematographer wife Laurence from their prior indie horrors “Ghost of the Needle” and “Freez’er,” “Dark Remains” is a genuinely creepy ghost story that packs maximum dread per reel. DVD-distrib deals should be forthcoming at home and abroad. Cable sales are possible, theatrical exposure less likely.

When their only child is slain in her bed — with no evidence of break-in — young Atlanta couple Allen (Greg Thompson) and Julie (Cheri Christian) are left on emotional tenterhooks. They move to a remote mountain house to recoup. There, deeply depressed photog Julie takes idle shots that reveal — only to her — their daughter trying to communicate from the grave. Indeed, she’s trying to tell her parents to get the hell outta there. Turns out many people have died mysteriously on this mountaintop, even in this house. Thesping is variable, with Christian stiffest and Thompson most pro. Windup (which leaves several major questions dangling) proves less satisfying than the long atmospheric buildup, though that’s somewhat par for the genre course. Overall, skillfully orchestrated atmosphere and shocks en route make “Dark Remains” notably scary if not lastingly memorable.

Dark Remains

Production

An Avenet Images production. Produced by Laurence Avenet-Bradley. Directed, written, edited by Brian Avenet-Bradley.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-cam), Laurence Avenet-Bradley; music, Benedikt Brydern; production designer, James Coz. Reviewed at Another Hole in the Head, San Francisco, June 14, 2006. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Greg Thompson, Cheri Christian, Scott Hodges, Jeff Evans, Rachel Jordan, Michelle Kegley, Rachael Rollings, Karla Droege.
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