Evil laughs really oughtn’t to be funny. But then again, there’s an unwitting air of spoof hanging over the whole of 7 Below, a film destined to sink without trace.
Which is a shame, because the underlying idea is a strong one.
100 years ago a young boy slaughtered his entire family. On the anniversary of the killing, a car crash forces a mismatched group of people to spend the night in the murder house.
Their host is a strange and rather forbidding chap (well, except the laugh) who clearly has got a fairly strong connection with the house’s murky past.
It isn’t long before the reluctant house guests start to catch glimpses of the century-old killings seemingly re-enacting themselves before their 21st century eyes.
So far, so good. But the problem is in the execution. Where’s the terror? Where’s the tension? It simply isn’t there. One woman’s husband is brutally slain – but she barely mentions him again. The characters’ various reactions to their plight just don’t carry conviction.
When the links between past and present start to play out in the film’s final sequence, you’re reminded once again this is a clever story with great potential.
But between them, Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames, Luke Goss and Bonnie Sommerville barely raise a shiver.
Rental courtesy of Blockbuster. For details of other new releases, see www.blockbuster.co.uk.