Stephanie Greco ... Penny Abbot
Alex Arleo ... Jake Wildman
Arielle Brachfeld ... Vanessa Dane
Graham Denman ... Craig Gavin
Carolina Groppa ... Giselle James
Country: USA Runtime: 90 min
I'm excited about having the opportunity to evaluate my good friend Jose’s latest horror film The Haunting of Whaley House, right here on Strictly Splatter. We have worked side by side on Splatter for many years and I have seen him toiling over his cinematic endeavors from the first day I met him. You’re totally correct in assuming I may be partially biased in this review but frankly, that is unavoidable. You can certainly expect my best efforts at an objective review, in as far as that is possible. Regardless, you will get an honest take on this film.
A group of friends decide to spend a Saturday night in the haunted Whaley House. Penny Abbot (Stephanie Greco) has been working as a tour guide at the Whaley house for a few months and has access to the keys. While relaxing at a cemetery with her friends, Craig (Graham Denman) thinks it would be cool to explore the haunted house at night. Giselle (Carolina Groppa) thinks it’s an awful idea from the start but when Penny caves into peer pressure, Giselle, Jake (Alex Arleo), and Vanessa (Arielle Brachfeld) decide to tag along.
All of the girls are smoking hot! Throughout the film I was debating which of them I found the most attractive. Stephanie looks like a model and her petite frame makes her loveable. Carolina has certain mannerisms that make her cute in many ways. She is sort of like the scared date you love to hold hands with during a scary movie. Now I have never favored red heads but Arielle was a real knoockout. What can I say about those beautifully devastating eyes? They are a tad mischievous and mysterious. I thoroughly enjoyed these girls as much (maybe even more) than the ghosts and scares. The women of Whaley House embellish an otherwise bleak and dire atmosphere.
Once inside the house, two more friends are invited to the group. Ray (Jason Owsley) is an amateur ghost hunter and Keith Drummond (Howard McNair) is a world renowned psychic. As they explore the haunted dwelling strange shit starts to happen and people start dying. One of the amazing things about this movie is that it weaves true details of the actual Whaley House into the fictitious tale, lending it credibility and depth. This is a fucking real place, and if you go to the house in San Diego alone you will get eaten by ghosts! The spirits of long dead figures that dwelt in the house communicate with the group and make themselves visible at times. Drummond has respect for the dead and proceeds calmly but these are not friendly ghosts, they are vile and evil. There is a fantastic and terrible demonic presence dwelling in the attic that can best be described as a tortured sludge demon. This thing scared the shit out of me, as I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the movie. In this ghost tale MANY PEOPLE DIE!
The mood and tension build around these very likeable characters until you are plunged head first into their nightmare. The tangible evil is really disturbing, these ghosts and demons HATE US AND WANT US TO DIE(!), that is the message I walked away with. There is no reasoning or proper observances when dealing with the Whaley House threats. The infernal house grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you’re in hell. Jose’s Whaley House can best be described as Scream meets Poltergeist, on a smaller scale. The cast provides solid performances and the direction is clean and effective. The story moves along naturally all the while placing horror elements in all the right places and ascending towards its shocking conclusion.
I could talk about the blood spilt (grotesque deaths, considering the modest budget), the eerie ghosts, and that terrible demon but I want to leave that all for you to encounter. You’re going to get an excellent haunted house tale with real character drama (not ofthen found in today's low budget horror scene) and deep malevolent themes. Whaley House raises the bar for Asylum films and earns its place among respectable haunted house flicks. Once your through with the film your not gonna want to fuck with a Ouija board ever again! And when your watching those late night ghost documentaries on the SyFy channel, make sure you bolt 'em doors and say your prayers.