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Cast: Erin Marie Hogan, Mu-Shaka Benson, Devanny Pinn, and Abigail Mary
A young couple deliberately moves into a haunted house to contact the other side. Until their conduit, a painted black mirror proves to contain a malevolent presence hell-bent on bringing harm to their new family.
Ellie and her sister, River were both only young children when their mother died in a mysterious and tragic way. Ever since then River has been hospitalized on and off for hearing voices. River has also been accused of staring a fire in their family home which might have killed her mother. As the film opens River is at a clinic run by a Doctor Thorn.
Ellie and her husband, Gavin has custody of River's little girl, Izzy who also seems to have strange voices talking to her through a collection of dolls she has. Ellie is tired of living in the past and wants to find out the truth about the death of her mother so together with her family she moves into a haunted house in hopes of contacting her mother and setting things straight once and for all. But once they settle in strange things begin happening and as time goes by things begin to get even worse, especially after she removes her mom's rosary from her neck and black paint from an old mirror she finds in an upstairs bed room.
What starts out as a plan to end all the agony instead turns into a battle she could never have been prepared for.
'Dwelling' has one hell of a scary opening scene that immediately sets the tone for what is to come. The film then settles in as we are introduced to the characters and given some background on what happened to their mom and the history of the old house Ellie just moved in to. From there it deliberately slows down as it focuses on its story and characters rather than some cheap scare tactics like so many other films.
The film also has its fair share of secrets which it gives away as the film moves along. One thing I loved about the movie was that it respects its audience and by doing so it presents a number of questions but not necessarily the answers which forces the audience to think. By now you are probably asking yourself, is there any horror in the film? Well let me say there is plenty of horror most of which take’s place in the second half but the story and characters keep you engaged the entire time leading up to the second half.
'Dwelling' is an intelligent and fear inducing horror film that challenges its audience making it a thought-provoking film along with being terrifying and bone chilling. After watching the film you will want to remove all dolls and mirrors from your home and you will be sleeping with the lights on until who knows when.
Another thing that makes the film so good is its amazing cast, Erin Marie Hogan and Mu-Shaka Benson are both terrific as Ellie and Gavin and Abigail Mary who plays River's young daughter, Izzy is excellent as well. I was very impressed considering this is her acting debut. And last but certainly not least there is Devanny Pinn who is fantastic as the troubled, River. Most everyone who loves Independent horror knows who Devanny is and her resume speaks volumes about her acting skills. She is a talented and beautiful young lady that just keeps getting better.
Credit must also go out to Writer/Director, Kyle Mecca for creating not only a terrifying film but an original and smart one as well. And what is even more impressive is that this is his feature film debut as well.
'Dwelling' has so much going for it, atmosphere, mystery and plenty of suspense that will have you at the edge of your seat. Top that all off with a brilliant cast and some awesome creepiness and you have one the best horror films of 2017 so far.
The film is going to be released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment so I highly recommend heading over to the film's Facebook Page HERE for updates.
**** 1/2 Out Of *****