The term loosely based on a true story should be banned at the cinema! Especially when it comes to a horror movie. They might as well just say 98% of this movie is completely made up!
So…loosely based on the 1972 Phillip experiment, College Professor Coupland (Jared Harris) attempts to create a poltergeist using the negative energy of a disturbed young girl named Jane (Olivia Cooke). With the help of his students and a young cameraman Brian (Sam Clafin)- hired to film the experiments, Coupland intends to prove his theory that supernatural occurences are caused by human energy. However things soon take a sinister turn.
At first I thought this would be a supernatural British horror film that would deliver on tension, thrills and screams. The build up starts out well as we watch the experiment become more and more inhumane and Jane starts to become more fragile and disturbed as events go on. However by the last act the movie descends into a standard sub-par horror movie. People continue to do stupid things and push Jane to her limit despite the fact that something will obviously go wrong. It wouldn’t so matter so much if the film’s climax fulfilled on its earlier promise but it ends up falling flat. The revelations to whats happening with Jane are uninspired and while Olivia Cooke is both sympathetic and creepy as Jane the students are flat cardboard characters and Clafin’s character is too wet to be of any interest. Harris at least goes into full on ham mode as the determined Professor which is entertaining at times.
It’s a shame the film fails to live up to its potential as it was an interesting idea but it just doesn’t live up to its premise.
Rating 2/5 – a tense build up descends into horror clichés and a dull denouement