I’m not sure what drew me to the The Remains. It could have been I was itching for a ghost story, or that Todd Lowe is the main star? Except that I didn’t know either of those things, because The Remains had a very rare privileged and that’s that I went into it completely blind. Which sadly didn’t do all that much to better the experience. Mostly it was that I didn’t quit get what this movie wanted to convey. Unless that was it wanted to be a mediocre way to kill an evening. Because if that’s the case The Remains nailed it. The issue that The Remains uses a lot of current tropes, but with out anything real thought into them. Which is a shame since there is some good acting and what could be a good story in there.
The Remains starts in the 1800’s with Madame Addison (Maria Olsen), a well-known spiritualist is holding a seance. Among those in attendance is a young couple looking for their missing daughter. While the seance is going the father of the missing girl breaks the protective circle causing Madame Addison to become possessed. She then kills everyone in attendance before dying herself. Modern day, John (Todd Lowe) has moved his family into the home as it’s a steal for the price and fits their needs. The move is prompted by the death of his wife and is using the move as way to help is family move on. His three children Izzy (Brooke Butler), Victoria (Hannah Nordberg) and Aiden (Dash Williams) are all handling the move fairly well and start adjusting to their new home. Aiden finds a chest in the attack containing items used during the seance. He shows them to his father after Victoria see’s it. Victoria and Aiden slowly become possessed by ghosts as the times are haunted. As his children start acting more and more strangely John digs into the history of the home and receives warnings from the dead…
It’s the small things with this film that bother me most. At one point Izzy complains about John moving her away from her friends. But her boyfriend Tommy (Samuel Larsen) has no problem showing up when every Izzy needs to be removed from the plot for a while so it can move along. It’s like the writers didn’t know what to do with her character. Which is a tragedy since she was one of the best characters in the film.
The exact nature of the haunting bothers me too. Since Madame Addison’s evil ghost is the antagonist. Why was her ghost evil? She didn’t strike me as an evil woman. Also the ghost looks like Addison when she was possessed, not when she was normal. So is her ghost supposed to be possessed? Or is it a demon that’s taking the form of a possessed Addision? Why the two other ghosts to possesses each kid?
The acting though really saved this film for me. Both Todd Lowe as a grieving husband and Brooke Butler as the rebellious teenage daughter. Ashley Crow does a great job as Clair the realtor who sells them the house, but I don’t understand the characters angle. Brooke Butler is very little of the film and most of it is eye candy, which is a shame as she puts on the most emotional and memorable performance in the film at the end.
Final thoughts, well acted but generic. The ghost story never sold me, and the frights didn’t really frighten. But the acting as good and under the generic ghost gonna get you story-line is a great look at a family in mourning. You sympathize with the family, which makes them relatable. But the ghost aspects of this film are a little boring and make little sense. 6/10