December 27, 2010

Crooked House (2008)

"A ghost story about a cursed house. The cursed house - Geap Manor - weaves together three ghost stories set during Georgian times, the 1920s and the present day."

Because I moved to America back in December 2007, I actually missed this replacement to the BBC "Ghost Stories for Christmas" entirely. Since there was nothing worth watching on BBC America this year other than the "Doctor Who Christmas Special", I found "Crooked House" to watch online instead.

Having now watched it a couple of times over (not entirely through choice but because it was so boring that it put me to sleep), I can tell you that it wasn't worth the effort. It must have had a ridiculously small budget even for the BBC and it shows in the lack of sets, special effects, acting ability of everyone involved and, most importantly, the complete lack of any scary moments.

I think it was intended as an homage to the Amicus anthology films of the '70s but, since hardly any of them were any good either, it's hard to tell whether "Crooked House" achieved its goal. I was mildly entertained by the first story in as much as it plagiarised Bram Stoker's "The Judge's House" even more than an old schoolfriend of mine did back in the day by submitting the same as homework but the second story which was set in the 1920s was just dull.

If you don't already know, 'Crooked House" was composed of three episodes of which the final one completed the wraparound main story about a necromancer travelling through time to steal a schoolteacher's unborn child for his master. The denouement and final revelations were predictable and hardly worth the wait but you can't really expect much more from such toned down TV horror anyway.

Possibly the only truly enjoyable moment for me was working out that the schoolteacher's blonde girlfriend was played by the girl who used to be Sarah in "Eastenders". I can't remember her name but she was also in an episode of "Torchwood" as a lesbian alien and it's always fun to see these ex-soap stars again.

Anyway, I can't really rate "Crooked House" as anything other than considerably less than average. It was a bit better than that awful Dennis Wheatley adaptation from October 2007, "The Haunted Airman", but was almost as tedious.

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