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Seance [Import]

Bridget Shergalis , Tori White , Mark L. Smith    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
So a group of college students perform a séance to communicate with the ghost of a young girl and accidentally open a spectral door for a malevolent spirit to come in. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Imagine my happy surprise when Séance turned out to be a creepy and compelling horror film. I'm not saying Séance hits all the right buttons or earns itself a spot in the horror hall of fame, but this is by no means a bad or disappointing viewing experience. There's obviously no pleasing the critics who described this movie as dull, unimaginative, and/or cheesy. Painful to watch? These critics couldn't be talking about the film I just saw. I'll grant you that there are some clichés in play here - the peeping tom security guy, the nerdy loner at the end of the hall, even the whole scenario of the ghostly little girl and the goofy séance. On the other hand, not one of these horny coeds dies having sex, there is only the barest modicum of nudity, the plot never devolves into a brainless slasher film, and the story colors far outside the lines of any paint-by-numbers script I'm aware of. They say the little ghost girl isn't creepy enough. I suppose they would rather have a Japanese kid with layers of mascara around her eyes or horns on her head or something. Don't most ghosts look like they looked before they died? Just because the body's rotting in some grave doesn't mean the dead person's spirit has to have maggots crawling out of her eyes.

Okay, let me stop defending this film long enough to briefly describe it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good film May 10 2008
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
I'm surprised there hasn't been more interest in this film, considering it does a nice job in maintaining some suspense and has a few chills thrown in for good measure. The story is an intriguing one, involving an old apartment building being renovated for a college dorm. The building's history involves a sordid past that left restless spirits revisiting the scenes of their shared history. The few college kids (of course) left behind over break make the mistake of holding a seance, unleashing unforseen horror that they spend most of the movie trying to explain and escape. The story is an interesting one, the pace more than reasonable, and the mood is worthy of a late night ghost story with the lights out.

I don't want to overrate the film, but for a straight to DVD release, it is a worthy rental. There are only a few characters, and their development is virtually nonexistent, but that is not what the film is about. The real concern is the story of the haunting and the history of the building, and it is fairly well executed. You'll want to avoid injecting too much logic into it, or you'll ruin the fun. This is nothing more than a little ghost story to go along with the popcorn, and it is satisfying at that level. Don't expect too much blood or special effects, as the budget obviously doesn't allow for it. And the acting is less than stellar, but it never reaches the laughable stage that horror fans sometimes have to endure. But it is good fun, and at least you'll not be in a hurry to finish the film.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spooky Feb. 20 2009
By Jendeana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The cast thankfully, even if mostly unknown was quite believable. Theres nothing I hate more than a horror movie with cheesy actors and this was definitely not one of those. Adrian Paul plays creepy perfectly without saying much at all. The little girl ghost gave chills every time she came on the screen. Well written and very well acted for a horror movie that didn't rely heavily on cheap effects or otherwise. Definitely worth the watch.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Student Housing... Sept. 23 2010
By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein - Published on Amazon.com
Four college students (three girls and one lucky guy) spend their break in the student apartment building. Of course, the place is haunted by a little girl's ghost. The group decides to hold a seance in order to communicate w/ the tiny spectre and find out what it wants. Baaaad idea, as this causes another spirit to emerge! A darker, far more dangerous spook! SEANCE isn't a terrible movie, it just isn't very frightening. The story is OK, the characters are fine, and the ending is alright. I guess I was expecting a bit more in the way of ghostly goings-on. Worth a peek on a rainy night...
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boo! Sept. 20 2010
By Joy LeMasters - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have no idea how this movie got 4 stars- it's a stinker! Cliche' and dull. Don't bother!
3.0 out of 5 stars Out of service........ April 1 2012
By Einsatz - Published on Amazon.com
Another run-of-the-mill ghost story made by a filmmaker heavily influenced by better Japanese horror movies. Whatever the inspiration, this film fails to scare because of a lack of imagination and a reliance on far too many horror clichés (enough with the shower curtains!). Now you see it, now you don't, is also a lame choice when it comes to fright. I appreciate that it was a low budget project but ingenuity not finances makes something great. Instead, what they came up with was an overly frugal plot involving 6 people stuck in a building for the holidays. On a whim, they decide to hold a séance. I don't know when a séance is ever a good idea but these people thought it was and rely on the lack of expertise on the part of the dumbest member of their group to call up a ghost already in residence. As a result, they end up with a psychotic ghost with no clear agenda played with stupefying inertness by Adrian Paul. All in all, very few in the way of actual chills: adequate performances by most, a sloppy ending, basic FX, some humor, and it was mercifully brief at 88 minutes.

I've seen better and a lot worse. I wouldn't watch it again but I'm not sorry I watched it once.
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