THE MANOR (2017)
Starring Christina Robinson, Kevin Nash, Rachel True, Sully Erna, Michael Bennett, Tanja Melendez Lynch, Mark J. Sullivan Jr., Michael Zuccola, Eric Lutes, Tandi Tugwell, Danielle Guldin, David Tessier, Pamela Jayne Morgan, Mike Messier, Armen Garo, M. Joseph Sullivan III, Chelsea Vale, Ryan King Persaud, Edilsy Vargas and Allie Marshall.
Screenplay by Michael Messier, Glenn Jeffrey, Matt O’Connor and Tom DeNucci.
Directed by Jonathon Schermerhorn.
Distributed by Lionsgate. 87 minutes. Rated R.
You don’t tend to expect much from cheesy straight-to-video horror films, but even by that low bar, The Manor (a.k.a. Anders Manor) is shockingly bad.
It is not merely unfrightening, it is completely inept. It is not well-made, it is poorly written, poorly filmed. The special effects are laughable. The storyline makes no sense at all. (One character simply disappears from the story – we assume she was murdered, but that is never really shown or explained.) The characters are unlikable, clichés and cyphers. The monster is ridiculous looking. The film editing is distractingly choppy and clunky. The theme music is a blatant rip-off of John Carpenter. The surprise ending makes no sense. And one of the characters sings an extended song about chess, ferchrissakes.
It’s rated R, though Lord knows why. Most of the violence is off camera, or if it is shown, it is rather cartoonish and inexplicit. There is no gratuitous sex or nudity, though there are lots of teasing hints which never, ever pay off. The language, while occasionally rather salty, is hardly enough to hang an R rating on.
By far the scariest part of The Manor – other than the utter ineptitude of the filmmaking and storytelling – was that Eric Lutes, who 15-20 years ago was an actor to watch with buzzworthy roles on Frasier and Caroline in the City, has fallen so low that he had to take a part in this film. And it was a smallish supporting part, which only adds insult to injury. However, he is one of the few actors here who feels at all natural and can actually… you know… act. (Although even Lutes does periodically get dragged down by the script.)
Then again, casting for acting ability is obviously not the film’s strong suit. Wrestler Kevin Nash is given a featured spot on the DVD case and second billing in the film, yet he has probably about 15-20 minutes total of screen time, and most of it is kind of ridiculous.
The best part of The Manor? The fact that it runs less than 90 minutes, though that is still doing hard time.
If you stumble upon this movie playing on Starz or Cinemax at 3:35 in the morning (which will undoubtedly start happening in a matter of days), do yourself a favor. Go to sleep.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2018 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: May 15, 2018.