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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Mystery > Murder > The Hoarder (2015/RLJ DVD)

The Hoarder (2015/RLJ DVD)

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

Matt Winn's The Hoarder (2015) is an isolation horror piece with some fresh elements and decent production design, but an ending that ultimately disappoints and a quick run time of 86 minutes. Reminiscent of other more successful suspense films such as Cube, Kubrick's The Shining, Strangeland, and maybe even a touch of Dario Argento's Opera (but the torture is never taken THAT far) the film succeeds in creating a claustrophobic setting and will appeal to fans of that horror sub-genre. Starring in the film is Mischa Barton, Robert Knepper, Emily Atack, Valerie Kane, and Andrew Buckley.

What kills the film is the weak story points that make it pretty easy to spot who is going to get killed next and an overall absence of cinematic style that makes it feel a bit flat. Had the film been an extreme bloody massacre and not held back so much, it could have ended up being a bit more disturbing and effective. The sight of a stapled mouth is disturbing but ultimately doesn't compliment the film's overall theme or the motive of its villain.

Ella (Mischa Barton) is soon to be married and needs to know what is in her fiancé's storage locker before they tie the knot so she enlists the help of her friend, Molly (Emily Atack). The locker is conveniently located on the long forgotten 4th floor of the storage facility and, by unlocking it, the girls release a dark and deadly secret. (Because every storage facility has secrets.) Before long, Ella is alone and must join forces with an unlikely group who are all struggling to get out of the facility alive.

What works in the film is a sense of hopeless and entrapment inside the facility. The acting isn't all terrible including a pretty strong performance by Mischa Barton that is consistent throughout. What doesn't work is the killer himself, which I won't reveal to leave the element of surprise, but he doesn't feel very motivated and ends up being just another by-the-number slasher film villain. Hint: it's not the guy on the cover that you are being led to believe is the slasher.

The Hoarder is presented in standard definition with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. A high definition upgrade would certainly help bring out the shadows and texture throughout the piece but for DVD, RLJ has done a fine job in presenting the film as it is. No digital copy.

The only extra is a jokey Making Of EPK that interviews some key cast and crew members but is short and not really informative.

Had the film been a bit more extreme and about ten minutes longer with a more satisfying ending, I would have rated The Hoarder higher. Otherwise, it's a decent one timer and nothing more.

- James Lockhart



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