Academic Ben (Ed Stoppard) probably shouldn’t have chosen creepy Blackwood to recover from his nervous breakdown – after all, when he starts seeing things, he could just be going mad. Aware that this premise usually has an either/or resolution, debut director Adam Wimpenny and screenwriter J.S. Hill strive to conjure an arty twist on the haunted house genre, only to strain credulity and patience well before the big reveal.
While efficiently filmed, Blackwood prefers using horror tropes as metaphors than for pure scares, lending events the feel of an ambitious but airless thesis. It doesn’t help that Ben is so unlikeable – and Stoppard so inert.
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