Tuesday, January 15, 2013

'Brothel' is a classy haunted house movie

Brothel (2008)
Starring: Serena Scott Thomas, Brett Cullen, Grace Zabriskie, Timothy V. Murphy, and Bruce Payne
Director: Amy Waddell
Stars: Seven of Ten Stars

After her clinically depressed lover commits suicide, Julianne (Thomas) carries on with their plans to convert a long-abandoned gold-rush era brothel in a small Arizona town into a bed-and-breakfast. But once she begins the restoration effort, she finds the building is still inhabited by the ghosts of prostitutes... and that she is being stalked by Death himself (Payne).

If you liked "Ghost Whisperer", I think you'll enjoy "Brothel". Julianne could just as easily have been Melinda if her husband had committed suicide, the the storyline here would be right at home in the second or third season of "Ghost Whisperer." The difference between Melinda and Julianne is that as Julianne tries to unlock the secrets that are preventing the ghosts in the brothel from "crossing over", she gradually loses touch with the world of the living, partly because she really doesn't want to be part of it anymore because the love of her life is gone.

"Brothel" is a great haunted house movie that is rich in atmosphere from beginning to end, yet almost entirely free of elements that are typically associated with the horror genre--jump-scares, bloody gore, and characters doing stupid things just so the plot can keep moving. If you accept that the main character can "see dead people" and could be angry enough at the death of her lover to challenge and subsequently draw the interest of Death itself, the rest of the film flows naturally and with steadily building tension as Julianne slips further and further into the realm of spirits. It's a beautiful, well-acted film that by itself is worth the purchase price of the "Midnight Horror Collection", which is where I came across it.

No comments:

Post a Comment