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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Ghosts > Haunted House > Altar (2014/Cinedigm DVD) + Foreclosure (2014/Virgil Films DVD)

Altar (2014/Cinedigm DVD) + Foreclosure (2014/Virgil Films DVD)

I am always up for an interesting horror film dealing with the paranormal and here we have two films that fall into that category - Altar and Foreclosure - both films now available on DVD.


Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: C

Altar tells the story of the Hamilton family, who move into a large country house on the Yorkshire Moors to supervise its restoration from a dilapidated B&B to the original Victorian grandeur. When Meg Hamilton, wife, mother and renovation expert first loses her London team after an accident, a local Yorkshire team too superstitious to continue, she's forced to carry on alone. The discovery of a secret attic room, a Rosicrucian mosaic, a bricked up root cellar and many other unexplainable events gradually convince Meg, her husband Alec and children Penny and Harper, that they're not only restoring the house, but also its original Victorian owners who died 150 years ago. But before they can escape, the house - and its former occupants - force them to spend one last, terrifying night under its roof.

The film has some good scares but feels a little close to other films in the same genre that were a bit more effective - namely [again?] the Insidious and Paranormal Activity films, without some of the same strengths of characters and production design.

Sound and Picture on the disc is in standard definition with a 16 X 9 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. No extras on the release either.


Picture: B Sound: B Extras: D Film: B-

An effective thriller lensed by Frederic Fasano - who has worked with Dario Argento on several projects and written and directed by Richard Ledes, Foreclosure finds its way on DVD thanks to Virgil Films. The thriller is a pretty creepy isolation piece with strong production design and some truly terrifying moments. I was pretty surprised by how effective this film was compared to Altar. The film stars Michael Imperioli, Spencer List, Bill Raymond, Wendell Peirce, Meital Dohan, Matt Servitto and David Costabile.

Bill Landopolous, his son Steven and his father-in-law Ray move into the Queens, New York home of their recently deceased relative Cal, who took his own life. The three hope to put their cares behind them and start afresh. But things get off to a shaky start when a local police officer (Matt Servitto) points out all the numerous foreclosures, bank-owned properties and short sales that have depopulated the once-attractive neighborhood he patrols. Will such a desolate street be healthy for these three damaged people?

At first, moving into the new (old) house turns out to be a tonic for the stressed-out Bill. He cleans out Cal's rank old refrigerator and spit-shines his business shoes. Bill even manages to tolerate the racist rants of his half-medicated, nearly senile father-in-law. But the rants, which begin as complaints about Bill's Greek heritage, become an ever-present echo of the past when young Steven, exploring the dank basement, discovers an old black-and-white photograph of a lynching. Soon, Steven and his father and grandfather come to suspect that it's not just the three of them living in the house.

Picture and sound on the disc are presented in standard definition with a 16 X 9 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. No extras on the disc.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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