Michael’s Review: ‘The Damned’ Don’t You Leave Your Kid in the Basement..They’ll git cha!

THEDAMNED_27x40_1SheetPeter Facinelli (The Twilight Saga) stars in this supernatural horror film directed by genre veteran, Víctor García. Written by Richard D’Ovidio (The Call), the story follows David Reynold (Facinelli), a man widowed from his Colombia-born wife, whose teenage daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos) decides to spend her summer in Bogota with her aunt Gina (Carolina Guerra). After finding new love and deciding on marrying again, David flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Sophia Myles) to bring his daughter back to the states to attend his wedding.

After arriving and reuniting with his daughter, David finds that bringing his daughter home will be a little harder than he anticipated. Accompanied by Jill’s Colombian boyfriend Ramon (Sebastian Martínez), David and company travel to retrieve some of Jill’s belongings, but the group has a car accident in the mountains of Bogota which leaves them stranded. As the group search for shelter to ride out a torrential rain storm, they come across a rundown inn whose proprietor, Felipe (Gustavo Angarita), is a tad bit reluctant to take in the group of travelers. After Jill and Ramon discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement, they make a decision to set her free. But what they unleash is more than they could have possibly imagined.

IMG_5101.JPGWhereas the film’s premise is not too original, the overall telling of the tale tries to differentiate itself from recent supernatural thrillers. Set in the mountains of Latin America, an area rich with mystical history, The Damned explores possession in a fresh new way, offering a different spin and creating an exciting new way to keep audiences on their feet.

Director Victor Garcia, taking on his first original feature film, creates an atmosphere of suspense while not falling too much into cliches which cause many films in this genre to falter. His experience on the set of other horror franchises seems to have offered him the experience he needed to take on a film like this and Garcia creates a film he can be proud of.

IMG_1846.CR2The acting is well portrayed throughout the film. Peter Facinelli turns in a great performance as a man determined to keep his daughter and fiancée safe from harm.  Nathalia Ramos is really wonderful as David’s daughter, Jill. A role that usually requires a lot of whining and screaming, Ramos creates a character who’s brave and smart and is ready for the challenge that awaits her. The remaining cast members, including Colombian acting veteran, Juan Pablo Gamboa, each turn in truly wonderful performances that keep the story interesting and the audiences attention throughout the film.

Overall, The Damned is a good film that offers a few scares, but doesn’t sacrifice its ultimate goal of making a good movie for a few cheap pops and a bunch of cliches.

Opens on VOD July 25, 2014 / Theatrically August 29, 2014

Stars: 3 out of 5