Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Horror has always been my favorite film genre, whether it's a gory slasher flick, a creepy paranormal tale, or a terrifying psychological thriller.  From the good to the bad, I'll give pretty much anything a try once, and I'm glad I gave this film a try.  Restoration did something that is rarely seen in most horror films by merging different horror genres, and for me, it really worked.

Restoration tells the story of Rebecca and Todd Jordan, a young couple who, while workin on restoring their new home, unleash a tortured spirit.  In order to save themselves, Rebecca and Todd much find a way to free this spirit, but in doing so they uncover a much more nefarious plot at hand.

This is the directorial debut for actor Zack Ward, who also co-stars in the film.  As his first film, I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this story he brought to the screen.  The script, which Ward wrote alongside James Cullen Bressack, was good and had some clever and believable dialogue, particularly from Ward's own character, Harold.  The only real issue I had was a bit of slow pacing in the first half of the film, which made me wonder when any real scares were gonna take place.  However, in the end it really came together for me.

Ward was able to assemble a great cast of mostly unknown actors, which, I think, worked out great.  Emily Roya O'Brien, who some may know from her role on the soap opera The Young and The Restless, took on the lead role as Rebecca Jordan, a doctor looking to enjoy her newly married life.  She is joined by Adrian Gaeta, who plays Rebecca's husband, Todd, who is working feverishly to get their brand new home in order.  Gaeta is no stranger to the world of horror, starring in 2011's Hide and 2014's Inner Demons, and does very well in this film.  I thought they had great chemistry together and each gave solid performances.  We also see director Zack Ward and Sarah Ann Schultz as the Jordan's new neighbors, the somewhat mysterious Harold and Francine.  Ward actually gave my favorite performance of the entire film, giving a very natural feel to the role.  Several times, when a director also stars in their own film, you lose some of that spark, but not in this case.  He really gave it his all, which made the film that much more enjoyable, especially when the ending came around.

As a big fan of horror, I've seen several different types of stories, some great (The Conjuring), and several bad (Devil's Due), and this film falls somewhere in between.  As with most films, Restoration isn't without its flaws.  As I said before, it suffered from some slow pacing at the beginning.  It makes you wonder what kind of movie you're actually watching, which could've turned out really badly for Ward's first time at bat, but luckily, he pulled it together in the end with a unique twist I didn't see coming.  It was very reminiscent of another horror film I've seen (which I won't name as to not spoil things in this film), one that, even though the overall film wasn't that great, the ideas in the story where, and it was those ideas that foster this unique take on the genre that I truly enjoyed.

So if you're looking for a cool, interesting horror film to watch, hope on iTunes (where it's rated #6 in Horror), or head on over to Vudu and check out this film.

The Merc's Score: 7/10

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