Haunted Prison Review

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[Haunted Prison]
Plot:A horrifying live action film which takes place at Isla de la Roca Penitentiary. Rumor has it the Devil himself spat up the place out of the depths of hell, and man turned it into a prison for the most dangerous prisoners in the South. The monstrous building is steeped in the evil created by centuries of murder and injustice and is haunted by vengeful ghosts. Isla de la Roca was abandoned after being soaked in blood by a horrific massacre of inmates and guards. A gang of fugitives from a cop-killing robbery seek refuge within the razor wire of the prison walls at the same time as a documentary film crew arrives to tell the story of the penitentiary. When these groups cross paths within the cruel walls of Isla de la Roca, will anyone get out alive?

Cast: Danny Arroyo, Jake Busey, Abra Chouinard, Claire Coffee, Shanna Collins, Tony Flores, Reynaldo Gallegos, Julienne Irons, Stacy Keach, Jamie Elle Mann, Nick Principe, Russell Richardson, Marco Rodriguez, James Leo Ryan, Kyle Schmid, Danny Trejo, Scott Whyte.

My Thoughts:Good performances but bad ghosts.

Review:Sitting down to watch a movie like "Haunted Prison" it's pretty clear cut what to expect. Teens, a prison, ghosts, and lots of deaths. This particular haunted residence film however threw in a few new tricks which overall made it a decent viewing experience. The movie's plot creates alot of room for intrigue and action by having a film documentary crew enter the prison at the same time as a group of bank robbers seeking refuge from the police, after one of their comrades takes a bullet and starts slowing them down. The documentary makers are aware of the prisons bad past after they interview a former guard there played by Stacy Keach. The robbers however are unaware, all but one....and that's Marco played by Jake Busey. "Haunted Prison" does boast some interesting characters, particularly the lone female of the bank heist crew and Busey's character is one big question mark but on the teenager side of things, they're pretty much what you'd expect in a film like this. The jock, the blonde, the good girl, and the nerd. The jist of the movie takes on a few different forms, as at first it's set the film up to be an angry ghosts kiling trespassers on their property movie before getting more into the characters and their motives, as well as teasing the issue of Busey's charactr having a connection to one of the prison's nastiest ghosts. This abundance of story and exposition turns out to be a good thing as not only is it interesting and actually attention grabbing, but it also provides adequate spacing between the many deaths in the movie. "Haunted Prison" does fall into the typical SCI-FI Channel movie trap though, at some points. Sometimes the film skulks around too much with the less intriguing characters of the bunch and tries to create too much story. While I appreciate backstory on most of the films characters, backstory should be confined to the more intriguing characters in a film and not the less interesting. The deaths featured in "Haunted Prison" are pretty cool and there are some surprise moments that take place as well, one of which is quite a nasty one involving the female bank robber Jasmine and a pipe exploding. Busey carries most of the movie and in some areas hams it up slightly too much, especially during the films third and final act. Kevin Van Hook however doesn't quite polish off his story in "Haunted Prison" that well, using quite a few cliches and obvious plot twists to reveal the prisons ultimate dark secret. Maybe if Van Hook had spent more time on making his ghosts more interesting, instead of putting together such an "easy way out" ending, the movie would've been much better than just a decent supernatural horror flick. After all, what makes a supernatural horror film are the ghosts, and these ghosts while cool looking in a certain sense, and very vicious, weren't as interesting and distinctive as the ones in a film like "13 Ghosts". This bunch of rogue spirits pretty much were just there to dispatch of the characters without too much attention being paid to their backstories or character traits. "Haunted Prison" is a good watch if you're a fan of ghost slashers, but for the most part it's ghosts are pretty weak.

Positives:Good acting by most of the cast, a few cool deaths here and there.

Negatives:The ghosts weren't explored enough backstory wise.

Overall:Decent film for a SCI-FI Pictures original





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