Beneath the Old Dark House (2021) Scream Team Releasing Blu-ray Review



This anthology is pretty weak, but interested parties might want to check it off their list for the Halloween season coming up.


A horror anthology of four stories, each revolving around a different house.



A young prostitute goes about her day: She wakes up at a dirt bag hotel, wanders over to a bar, picks up a john, and then her evening culminates in getting abducted by a dead-faced cretin who outfits her in a bizarre bare bones bikini-type get-up (duct tape covers her nipples in “x’s”), and she wakes up gagged and strapped to a chair in a creepy room in a house where the cretin forces her to watch three short films. The first one concerns a waitress whose older male co-worker is a deranged mentally disturbed weirdo who obsesses over her and truly believes the young woman is in love with him. It’s no surprise that he reveals how terribly unstable and crazy he is when he abducts her and another young woman, forcing them to be a part of a sick killing game. The game, or whatever it is, does not go as he intends, and it has a very unhappy ending for him. The second story is about a young woman who is alone in a house in the woods when her dead mother’s creepy old doll (which sort of looks like the Mexican flea market version of Annabelle) starts following her around the house, culminating in a bizarre encounter that involves a possessed real estate agent. The third story is about an investigator who has been researching some Satanic ritual killings in the area, and when he pinpoints the culprit – a seemingly humble woman (played by Brinke Stevens) and her husband who live in a nice old house in the area – his plan to get the drop on her backfires when she reveals herself to be a witch who’s one step ahead of him. The wraparound segment with the bound and gagged hooker doesn’t really go anywhere, but there’s a gross post-credit sequence tacked on for no good reason.


I’m always down for indie horror films, and if it’s done right, I will happily endorse anthology horror films – either indie or from a major studio. The short film medium is great if the stories and execution are delivered competently, but unfortunately Beneath the Old Dark House doesn’t really have much of a vision to tell its stories. The plots are barely there, and some of the gore gags are sloppy and obvious. The one big plus it has is that the movie features a surprising amount of nudity and young actresses who’re brave enough to do what filmmaker Matt Cloude (who did the entire film) required of them, and sometimes that simply means hopping in the shower for a gratuitous sequence, or just walking around in panties for 15 minutes. I can’t – and won’t complain about that because that sort of thing is rare in movies these days. Other than that, this anthology is pretty weak, but interested parties might want to check it off their list for the Halloween season coming up.


Scream Team Releasing’s new Blu-ray edition of Beneath the Old Dark House comes in high definition, not that it needs to because of the lo-fi way the movie is presented with pretend scratches and a grubby sound design to begin with, and there’s an audio commentary, and a behind the scenes feature as well.