(Kandis Erickson, Adrian Paul, Jack Hunter, et al / DVD / R / (2006) 2008 / LGF)
Overview: A college student thinks her dorm room is being haunted by the ghost of a little girl. Though her roommates think she is crazy, they decide to hold a seance during the Thanksgiving break in an attempt to get rid of the troublesome spirit. What they don't realize is that their seance can't bring back a ghost that is already present. Instead, they invite in something much more terrifying.
DVD Verdict: Lauren (Kandis Erickson) is convinced that her college dorm room is haunted by the ghost of a little girl, but her two roommates laugh it off as naivety. That changes when the entire school goes home on holiday except for Lauren and her roommates, Malina (Tori White, Candy Stripers, Desert of Blood) and Alison (Chauntal Lewis, Beerfest, The Comebacks). Also staying behind is Alison’s greasy boyfriend Diego (A.J. Lamas, son of actor Lorenzo Lamas), whose only plan for the vacation is to have sex with Alison in every vacant room. Finally, the nerdy, creepy kid, Grant, from down the hall is also staying behind.
In an attempt to placate Lauren’s concerns, the group, say for Grant, do a séance in attempt to communicate with the little girl. The only problem is, as Grant very astutely states later in the film, you cannot communicate with a soul that is already here through a séance. Instead the foolish group accidentally brings over another soul, the ghost of former building janitor Spence (Adrian Paul, Highlander: The Series, Highlander: Endgame). Spence was a sadistic homicidal maniac who is hell bent on killing anyone and everyone around him. Now these five friends need to figure out they can stop a killer who is already dead.
Séance was written and directed by Mark L. Smith, writer of Vacancy, and won the best feature film award at Shockerfest ... but fans of Adrian Paul will weep at the poor quality of film that he agreed to put his name on!
Séance, like so many of the ever-growing list of unimaginative horror films, is almost painful to watch. Like so many that have come before it, Séance is once again about a group of attractive people who are tormented by some sort of apparition hell bent on having someone solve their murder. Apparently it is very scary for a select few to have to battle a seemingly unbeatable phantom, only to then successfully beat it by doing some sort of innocuous action.
The problem with Séance is that it really does not stand out in a wash of cheesy horror films. The only thing that does seem noteworthy with Séance is its lack of originality and its low-budget feeling. Séance is riddled with cliché after cliché including the peeping tom security guard, the over-amorous girl who is the first to die, and the creepy social outcast pushed aside by everyone but who ends up being integral in the victory.
The other problem with Séance is its painfully stark production design. These so called dorm rooms look as if these students are not there to study but to partake in psychological experiments. The walls are cold and formal and the dorm room bathtub is rusting through. The building seems like it should be condemned rather than made into college student dormitories. The set construction, and it is painfully obvious that this film was shot on a set, is flimsy at best. At one point Lauren is pounding on the door and the entire wall moves as a result! This is a Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
Behind The Scenes Featurette
Optional English and Spanish Subtitles