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The House on Pine Street Review

When everyone around you is telling you you're going crazy... are you? In February 2015, Jennifer knew something wasn't right about her new house, but no one would believe her.

Directing this 111 minute drama/horror is Aaron Keeling and Austin Keeling.

Some of the cast is: Emily Goss as Jennifer, Taylor Bottles as Luke, Cathy Barnett as Meredith, Natalie Pellegrini as Lauren, Jim Korinke as Walter and Tisha Swart-Entwistle as Marlene.

Though she's seven months pregnant, Jennifer and her husband Luke decide to move back to Jennifer's home town in Kansas. Luke is hoping the move will help ease the strain on their relationship with Jennifer coming back to familiar ground. Unfortunately, Jennifer doesn't feel the same way about the move as Luke does. Being back in her home town and around her overbearing mother is more than Jennifer is ready to deal with. Then things take a turn for the worse when Jennifer starts to notice strange things happening around the house. Sounds of doors opening when Jennifer is the only one home, things moving from where she put them. Luke thinks she's stressed from the move and just needs to relax. As more and more things happen, Jennifer is certain the house is haunted. Before long, Jennifer's behavior starts to make Luke question her sanity. Is there really something in the house looking to hurt Jennifer and Luke? If so, is it Jennifer... or something worse?

I recently got the chance to screen a new Indie film that was partially funded through a Kickstarter campaign and made it's world premiere in February at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California. Because I liked what I read in the synopsis, I decided to skip the trailer so everything would be a complete surprise to me. I didn't want to know what the effects looked like (or if there were any) for fear of getting everything in the trailer, as a lot of films tend to do. (After watching the film I went back and checked out the trailer. I have to say, the trailer does the film justice while not giving much away. It's the kind of trailer I miss getting from films.)

Even though I liked the synopsis, I still didn't go into this one with a 100% "can't wait to see it" feeling. It's hard for me to watch "haunting" based films because they tend to pretty much be the same thing over and over. Each film has weird sounds, things move, hands reaching out from the dark... then BOOM(!) ghost eats family. You know how it goes. However, writers Natalie Jones, Aaron Keeling and Austin Keeling surprised me and didn't go that route. Instead, they went with a slow burning story that really makes you start to question what's going on in the movie. I actually found myself wondering a couple of times if the place was haunted or if Jennifer was going crazy. So, yeah, I really liked the story. The writers make small subtle movements with the cast and scenes (along with sudden booming moments) that build up to a great story by the time it's all said and done. 

I thought the playthrough was a little slow at first, but as things started happening and the story started to unfold I realized the pace was actually a bonus to the film. The pace puts you into this false sense of thinking you know where things are going and before you know it you're being taken down a long road filled with constant twists and turns that leave you uncertain of where you're going to end up.

The visual effects by Matt O'Neil looked really good and flowed well with the flick. 

The cast was good but I thought Gross and Korinke had the best performance of the film. Korinke's role isn't very big, but he does a great job when he's there.  Gross did an amazing job and showed a lot of range with her character. 

Overall, this is a haunting good film that is worth checking out. 

It's rated UR (unrated) but has violence and language. 

3 stars

Michael Carter  - Back Seat Viewer

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