By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Director/screenwriter Axelle Carolyn
( “Tales of Halloween” and TV’s “American Horror Story”) weaves a tangled web of intrigue and suspense with her latest movie “The Manor”
which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“The Manor” is another one of the spooky horror films from Jason Blum’s Welcome to the Blumhouse
In the film, Barbara Hershey
--who is best known for her star turn in 2010’s drama, “Black Swan”--plays a 70-year-old beloved ballet teacher. Judith Albright (Hershey) is celebrating her big birthday with a few of her students, her daughter Barbara (Katie A. Keane, TV’s “Agents of “S.H.I.E.L.D”), and her teen grandson Josh, Nicholas Alexander (TV’s “Good Girls”).
Everyone is having a wonderful time until Judith has a stroke. Now, Barbara and Josh are worried about taking care of their mother. Josh is more than willing to handle the responsibility, but Barbara seems as if it would be a major burden for her. Consequently, she decides to place her mom in an upscale elderly care facility.
As soon as Judith arrives at the place, she doesn’t like it. Her gut instinct is telling her something. If only Barbara was as perceptive.
What nursing home wouldn’t allow their patients to have cell phones? How can they stay in touch with their family without a phone? Well, that should have been the first red flag. There are many other signs that Judith notices like how over medicated most of the residents appear including her sickly roommate Annette (Nancy Linehan Charles, TV’s “Young Sheldon”) and why they keep seeing and hearing things that go bump in the night.
Judith tries to fit in with some of the others including a friendly guy named Roland (Bruce Davison, “The Good Neighbor”) who is digging on her and likes to play cards with his friends Trish (Jill Larson, TV’s “Hunters”) and Ruth (Fran Bennett, TV’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family”). They seem a bit strange too.
When Judith starts poking around and asking questions about the facility, she’s met with resistance by the doctors and nurses. They tell Barbara and Josh Judith is suffering from advanced dementia. Is she really?
What Judith learns is that the manor is on sacred and haunted grounds and there is a supernatural entity preying on the residents. No one--except Josh--believes or will even listen to Judith, because of her “sudden dementia” diagnosis. Josh wants his grandmother to get out of that place, but Barbara insists it’s best for her.
When Josh and Judith take some drastic measures to try and escape, they realize leaving comes with a steep price.
You won’t find blood, gore, or cheap jump scares in “The Manor.” It’s a simple story that plays out with surprising and chilling effect.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Watch This Trailer For "THE MANOR"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.