If you can’t get excited about a new movie directed by Chris Smith (Triangle, Creep and Detour) we can’t be friends. The Banishing comes in a haunted house setting with a young family and reverend beginning a new adventure. The film is accompanied by a great trailer and solid casting. This should be enough to get your juices flowing in favor of watching this drama and horror-thriller film.
A small dose of what’s in store is waved around in the opening scenes. An exorcism, blood, and violence are eked out as a prequel in a short, sharp announcement. Flash forward to a new family with a little girl in tow who immediately starts to engage with a broken creepy-looking doll. What else does a little girl need? How about some even creepier figurines which get the VIP treatment at a tea-party. Secrets emerge from all of the ensemble cast setting off the playing-field in varied directions. The reverend has his demons, the local charlatan has plenty to say and the stern and serious church leader Malachi (John Lynch) pops in every so often to fill in the gaps.
Haunted House Has Secrets – The Banishing 2021
The Banishing starts off really well. But as the mysteries begin to unfurl, everything becomes a little jaded. The history of this 1930s most haunted house is wasted. The haunted takeover driving its occupants crazy never really peaks into an anticipated full manic motion regarding what might be hiding under the floorboards. Malachi’s agenda keeps the only cards of intrigue well up-his-sleeve. In addition, the film never explores his role very well.
The Banishing is a tad underwhelming and brings nothing new to the haunted house niche. If you are a dead-set supernatural fan who likes small details of spooky happenings, the illusion of separate spectral plains, and religious nutters, you might find more value in this than Mother of Movies did. My concentration waned about three-quarters in when not a lot happened. Most of the cast were still wandering around aimlessly wondering what was going on. I did like the back story for Maryanne, however, but her story was pushed under when what was really happening in the house was brought to light.
Ginger’s Do it Better
On a positive note, the tension build-up was great. There is lots of fevered scores, dark rooms, and images appearing where they shouldn’t be. Performances are what kept me hanging in there. The central cast comprising of Maryanne played by the wonderous Jessica Brown Findlay (Downtown Abbey.) Mary’s devout husband Linus worked by John Heffernan (Luther.) Although all facets of his his chracter were avoidant, he did bring a smile to my face utilizing his drinking with humorous results. Sean Harris’s Harry, of Mission Impossible fame, gave his usual quirky edge to proceedings. I half expected him to summon the soul-sucking nature of his ginger ninja army, but alas this was not to be.
I give The Banishing
3 I’m a ginger so I can say whatever I want about gingers out of 5
- THE BANISHING comes to Shudder in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand on April 15th. It’s also streaming in the UK as a rental on Amazon Prime.
- Directed by Chris Smith / Written by David Beton, Ray Bogdanovich, and Dean Lines.
- Starring: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Lynch, Sean Harris, John Heffernan, and Adam Hugill.
- Produced by WestEnd Films and Distributed by Shudder.
- The Banishing was acquired as a screener for review purposes.
- For more scary and haunting movies try: Haunt / Come True / Dancing Mary / The Resort