Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Passing and Standing Up to Granny's Ghost: A Movie Review

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*a screener of this film was provided by
Gravitas Ventures.

**here be some spoilers (maybe a lot).

Director/writer: John Harwood.

The Passing is an independent horror film, which is moving to DVD June 7th and to video-on-demand, throughout the month of June (providers are listed below). This film is a haunted house styled thriller, with Playboy Playmate Colleen Shannon starring. The Passing mostly revolves around a significant inheritance and three grandchildren, who must stay for the weekend, in this supernatural abode. Granny has just passed; now, these three grandchildren must fight her ghost to win the inheritance and to keep their lives!

Elizabeth (Crystal Day), Jack (Brian Gleason), and Ray (Sam Upton) begin their weekend with fun, drinks and some pool party time. Soon, the skeletons come out of the closets, like a sensationalist novel and the pool guests begin to die one by one. Along the way, there is some subtle nudity, as actress Colleen Shannon vies for screen time and you know that you are in indie horror territory, when the clothes come off, the partying begins and gore splashes the screen, or in this case mirrors. The Passing has all the required indie horror elements and one more - a good script.

Granny's inheritance can only pass to the grand-daughter, so the other cast members become superfluous. In no time, people are getting sucked into the mirrors, as the tagline reminds viewers: "the horror lies in the reflections!" Grams' tears out the throats of her brethren, while egging Elizabeth on, to be her successor. Gran's demonic supernatural state is an allusion to Elizabeth's future, as the next to last cursed Naibert and a feeling begins to emerge a third of the way into the film, enjoyment.

Elizabeth is able to inherit her Grams' large house, but she also inherits her curse, of acting strange and killing people. The cast is whittled to only a couple, while one deformed Naibert, named Billy, jumps in and out of scenes. His presence is mostly a distraction, while the make-up effects show some reality. Their is even a nod to 28 Days Later, before the final credits cue and The Passing ends in a suitable tragic fashion.

Overall, The Passing is an entertaining time spent in a huge mansion, where every mirror promises death. The script for this film was well developed and the performances are often compelling. There is some mystery here and the finale offers one last gore shot, which shows the viewers who is in charge, Granny! Watch this film, when The Passing becomes available, as this film has some intelligence and a sharp, dangerous edge.

Plot/writing/story: 8 (the curse that Granny was carrying was not fully explained).
Acting/believability: 7 (the performances are good, but some of the scenes are overly sappy, romantic, and repetitive).

Overall: 7.5 out of 10 (for most horror fans).

*other critics have villified this film.

**video-on-demand platforms include Netflix, X-Box Live, Comcast, Charter, Rogers and many more.

Visit The Passing website, to view the trailer:

The Passing Official Website

The Passing will be available June 7th on DVD:

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