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In 2007 Phillip Muirhouse was on a promotional tour to launch his book on supernatural phenomena, 'The Dead Country'. His publishers scheduled a radio interview in Junee, New South Wales, and for the author to be filmed inside a local tourist trap, The Monte Cristo Homestead, known as 'the most haunted house in Australia'. As part of a publicity stunt, he planned to stay inside the house for one night. The events, which took place, were recorded in real time on audio devices and high tech motion-activated cameras. By morning three people were found dead. Muirhouse was later found by police staggering along a country lane covered in blood.
As "Muirhouse" opens we see police being called to an estate, the dispatcher is saying there are three people dead. As the police get closer the see a man with no t-shirt on carrying a bloody hammer. They toss the man on the hood of the police car and we find out that the man is Phillip Muirhouse. The film then goes back to tell what had happened before and how and why Muirhouse on the road in such a state. Phillip Muirhouse is a Documenturian who has written a book on places around the world that are haunted. As part of the project he and his team plan to stay a night at the old Monte Cristo estate which is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the world. Muirhouse has to stay at the house for an hour and a half by himself because the rest of his team is still on their way. We are told at the beginning of the film by another ghost hunter that you never go to these kinds of places alone but Phillip has no choice so he decides to make the best of it by setting up cameras so everything is ready for when the rest of the team arrives but it seems the biggest mistake he made was entering the home alone from the start. It doesn't take long before he begins hearing strange noises and even stranger things being to happen. To talk anymore about what happens when only ruin the film for those that have been waiting to see it so I am going to stop here.
As we all know "found footage" movies have been done to death since "Paranormal Activity" came out. But there are several things that make "Muirhouse" one of the better films. For starters I really liked the story, it was intelligent and easily understandable. I was able to follow the film and believe that it could of really happened. The other thing I liked about the film was that it did not use all the s annoying shaking cam video so most films like it have used. By keeping it steady it made the film more believable plus it was much easier on the eyes.
One thing you really need a film such as this is a cast that can make the characters believable. Everyone in the film did a great job but the story pretty much belongs to Iain P.F. McDonald who does a fantastic job playing Muirhouse. He gives a very convincing performance.
Production wise the film looks great, filming at the Monte Cristo Estate was certainly a big help in creating the right atmosphere. The place really has a certain eeriness about it. I do not scare easily and I cannot tell you the last time I was frightened while watching a horror movie but I can say the this film really got under my skin. It doesn't use cheap gags or jump scares to frighten the audience. A lot of the films atmosphere comes from what you do not see. This is so full of suspense and tension that it will have you moving around in your seat all the way to the end. The film starts off a tad slow while it introduces us the characters and sets up the story but once it gets going it will have the hairs on your neck standing up and chills running down your spine the entire time.
There is plenty to like and plenty to be frightened about here. "Muirhouse" is not only one the best "found footage" films to come along in some time it is one of the best horror films in general. It is a clever, well-written and extremely frightening film that have you scared out of your wits the entire time. If you like horror then do not miss seeing this film.
Available on VOD and Limited Edition DVD now. I do not thing there are many movies worth owning nowadays, most are a one time watch but "Muirhouse" is definitely a keeper and worth owning. You can order the DVD HERE.
I cannot close out this review without mentioning Writer/Director, Tanzeal Rahim. This is his first time writing and directing a film but you would never know that by watching it. Amazing working and I for one look forward to seeing what he comes out with next.
Released by Brink Vision
***** Out Of *****