Thursday, 18 October 2018

Blu-ray Review: Down a Dark Hall

Summit; PG-13; 96 minutes; Amazon
Now available on Blu-ray from Summit Entertainment is the supernatural horror flick Down a Dark Hall. Directed by Rodrigo Cort├ęs and produced by Stephenie Meyers (author of the Twilight Saga), the film stars AnnaSophia Robb, Uma Thurman, Victoria Moroles, Isabelle Fuhrman, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day, and Noah Silver.

Based on the book of the same name by the late Lois Duncan, Down a Dark Hall centers around a troubled teenager girl named Kit Gordy (played by AnnaSophia Robb) who is sent to the Blackwood Boarding School, which is ran by headmistress Madame Duret (played by Uma Thurman). Blackwood isn't your normal boarding school. There are only four other students - Ashley (Taylor Russell), Izzy (played by Isabelle Fuhrman), Sierra (played by Rosie Day), and Veronica (played by Victoria Moroles).

Shortly after arriving, Kit's ability to play the piano surfaces, which thrills the headmistress and her son Jules Duret, the music teacher (played by Noah Silver). However, Kit' sudden music talents scares her to death, as she hasn't played the piano in years and when she did, she wasn't very good at it.

The other students have "talents" that suddenly emerge, which slowly drives them crazy. As Kit begins to investigate the secrets of Blackwood, she unveils a hidden evil that wants to devour the students.

Special Features include:
  • Welcome to Blackwood: Venturing Down a Dark Hall
  • Deleted Scenes

Does anyone remember reading the 1974 young adult novel Down a Dark Hall?

I read the book around the time I Know What I Did Last Summer was released to theaters in the late 1990s, which was a very loose adaptation of the book of the same name by Lois Duncan. Thanks to the slasher film's success, all of the author's young adult novels were re-released with new cover arts. Being the book lover that I am, I bought all the books, which one of them was titled Down a Dark Hall. It was about five teens at a haunted private boarding school. I remember liking the book, but I didn't recall much about the plot until I started watching the film adaptation.

For the most part, the film stays close to the original story, but besides from Kit, the names of the other students have all been changed. The cast does a really good job in their roles. For a low-budget film, the cinematography is great, as well as the musical score, which gives the film a Gothic tone.

Overall, Down a Dark Hall is an intriguing supernatural movie with solid performances. For me, the Gothic atmosphere and the eerie Blackwood Boarding School are the best parts of the film. While the film isn't too scary, I'm still recommending it to other horror fans.

*Note -  I received a complimentary Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. 
All opinions are my own.

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