Abbey Grace, 2016.
Directed by Stephen Durham.
Starring Debbie Sheridan, Jacob Hobbs, Amber Gallaway, Semi Anthony, Maggie McNabb.
After her mother dies, a professional woman puts her career on hold to move back home to look after her agoraphobic brother who has not left the house for years. She soon discovers that the house holds a terrible secret…
Effectively acting as a merging of two classic forms of horror story – the haunted house and the possession – Abbey Grace is an enjoyable piece of home spun terror. Bringing out good performances from its cast, most notably the two leads of Sheridan and Hobbs, the movie is worth a look for fright fans after something a little different. The film plays with different genres and manages to make some solid points about sibling relationships and psychology, while also building up a reasonably tense atmosphere of unease and fear.
Debbie Sheridan (actor and also the casting director) plays Stacey, a successful psychiatrist who returns home to look after her agoraphobic brother Ben (Jacob Hobbs) following the death of their mother. Ben has not left the family home in over twenty three years, and is pretty difficult to deal with to say the least. Our early introductions to the brother and sister’s relationship is one of animosity and mistrust, often centered on Debbie’s pet dog Duke. As an OCD sufferer, Ben is not overly taken with the lively canine, and makes his feelings on the subject known in great depth.
After Stacy finds a strange headstone marked as the burial place of a child named Abbey Grace and Duke digs up the mystery items of a shoe and a box, the tension between the siblings becomes even more fraught. When Ben’s behaviour starts to become unmanageable and he complains of seeing a strange girl around the house, Stacy seek help from friend and co-worker Bridget (Amber Gallaway). She helps the two delve deeper into the history of the house and the eponymous Abbey who, as an unquiet soul has plans for all of them…
Overall, the film manages to pack a decent amount of scares in within its low-budget horror construction. It also allows a nice line of dark humour to be drawn out in the bickering siblings dialogue, something that marks it out as slightly different from a purely run of the mill shocker.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer.