The Lockdown Hauntings
As the current global pandemic situation slowly begins to get under control and things begin to get back to a somewhat normal state, we're bound to see a ton of covid themed horror films hitting our screens. We checked out Host last summer which was filmed entirely from the actors homes with everyone quarantining, but this week we're checking out THE LOCKDOWN HAUNTINGS directed by Howard J. Ford, which actually has characters interacting face to face - not just over video chat - that was also shot during the UK lockdown. What caught my eye immediately after seeing the promo poster for the film was the tremendous photo of Tony Todd aka Candyman; his face and name are all over the promotional items and they really make sure you know he's the star of the film... even though he's only in it for a handful of minutes out of the films hour and forty minute runtime. Obviously we see this quite a bit in horror, but from the get-go it feels kinda cheesy to throw his name and face around everywhere when he's not even really essential to the movie. But before I get ahead of myself, let me just say that The Lockdown Hauntings is really just an ok film - but we have to give credit for creating new content out of the quarantine that whole countries have been facing together. The movie offers nothing we haven't seen hundreds of times before and the "haunting" scenes are all pretty much the exact same thing over and over again - usually cups in the kitchen flying off counters or cabinets being pulled open - but I do gotta admit that the storyline was at least a little creative and gave great purpose as to why the hauntings are going on in the first place. The Lockdown Hauntings is far from a bad movie, but I just don't see it really hitting anyone's top lists for 2021. But the question remains... is The Lockdown Hauntings worth your time and money, especially with Halloween just around the corner? Honestly, it just depends on what you're expecting out of it - and if it's plenty of Tony Todd footage, you'll find yourself severely disappointed. But if you just want a simple film that does just an ok job at keeping you entertained for an hour and a half, the film is far from the worst you can choose to rent.
It's the first week of the UK lockdowns because of the recent global covid-19 outbreak, and the entire country is eerily quiet as no one can go anywhere or do anything. Jobs are being done remotely from home and people are getting their groceries delivered; the streets are empty. And it is in this silence that the paranormal world can really come to life and play among our world. Paranormal researchers are seeing an influx in paranormal activity; bizarre murders of young women are taking place in clusters and the police can't exactly figure out the why or how. It is then that Detective George Parker (Angela Dixon) - the cop who is trying to piece together the murders - reaches out to occultists and paranormal researchers to figure out if it really is possible that ghosts can be responsible for the worried phone calls, chaotic crime scenes and grisly murders they've been dealing with. It is up to Detective Parker to try and figure out just who is haunting these young women, and how the hell you stop it. Will she be able to finally let the evil spirit rest in the afterlife and stop the brutal murders, or will the lockdown give such powerful energy to the ghastly killer that the murders overtake the police force?! Find out in... THE LOCKDOWN HAUNTINGS!
The movie sees the murders of multiple attractive young women - all who kinda have the same features and arguably even look alike - so it's obvious that our invisible killer is after a particular type of victim. And while each of these women have their own paranormal scene followed by murder scene, the star of the film really is Angela Dixon who plays the detective (even though you might be led to believe it's Tony Todd, but I digress). Dixon - along with the many other women in the film - all put on some totally stellar performances throughout the film that absolutely do not feel cheapened or weakened by the fact that this is being shot during a real life pandemic lockdown. Honestly, looking back at it now, it doesn't even really feel like there's many scenes where there are more than one or two people physically in the scene together, which had to have been a weird thing to do. But yeah, their performances clearly were not affected by the filming situation and the acting doesn't feel empty or cheap. Hell, even the paranormal activity sequences didn't look or feel all that awful; from cups flying off shelves to knives flying through the air and into the victims throat, there's definitely no shortage of entity activity that keeps the story flowing. Does it feel repetitive? I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel like each haunting and murder felt like the same thing over and over again, but when put into context of the situation the film was created in, I tried to cut the movie a little slack. It feels like director Howard J. Ford tried to create with what he was given in the situation the world was in, and like I said, it's honestly not that bad. Was it worth the $4 rental price we paid? To be honest, I'd recommend to wait until this one hit a streaming service - it's not exactly one I'd spend another $4 on but hey, that's just me. I've definitely pissed away more money on way shittier movies before.
The storyline actually surprised me with it's little twist it throws at you towards the end; it's nothing groundbreaking or mind blowing, but I have to admit that it was a nice little way to tie the ghastly murderer into the story and to give reason to his evil doings. The film even does a pretty sick job at tying the murderer into the detective's life; it's honestly some pretty creative writing that really gives The Lockdown Hauntings a few extra points for awesomeness. I thought this was one of the better aspects of the movie and really kinda makes up for the rest of the just-ok film. Overall, the movie tells a nice little story that will at least leave you a little entertained, even if you feel like paranormal/haunting scenes were redundant or repetitive. The multiple women in this movie who played the murderers victims did a great job in their roles, even if their jobs as the victims meant literally just sitting there while some silly stuff happens around them. That being said, if you're looking for scares or reasons to jump out of your seat, look elsewhere because this film just won't do it for you. It's not freaky, it's not gonna blow your mind or leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation. You'll see some pretty girls (and Tony Todd) get cups thrown at them and then get killed, that's about it. My recommendation would be to save the $4 to rent this and wait for it to hit Prime or Netflix, but consider it watching then; like I said, it's not the worst thing to ever come out and the whole situation surrounding the filming of the movie is pretty rad I guess. But the unfortunate truth is once I'm done writing this review, I'll likely forget about The Lockdown Hauntings, so take that as you will.