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August 7, 2016

Greystone Park

by Franz Patrick


Greystone Park (2012)
★ / ★★★★

“Greystone Park,” written by Sean Stone and Alexander Wraith, is a discombobulated horror film, completely devoid of thrills, suspense, horror, and reason. It is one of the worst horror pictures I have seen in quite some time and I come across a handful of bad apples every month.

Three friends (Sean Stone, Alexander Wraith, and Ella Lentini) decide to explore inside an abandoned building that was once the largest psychiatric hospital in the country because they wish to encounter a ghost. Word has it that when the hospital was fully functional, doctors tortured their patients—from electroshock therapy to lobotomy—and the spirits of those who died in the process continue to roam the facility.

This movie is an example of how not to make a horror film. It adopts just about every single element that is wrong with modern, independent horror filmmaking: the story being presented using a handheld camera and therefore the excuse of having to constantly shake it; rapid cuts and shrill noises are employed when something supposedly scary pops out but the audience does not actually get a chance to actually see the terrible thing; idiotic dialogue and the characters exhibiting neither common sense nor survival skill. There is nothing to appreciate artistically and no one to root for here.

Even the presentation of the psychiatric facility leaves a lot to be desired. Although understandable that the project probably has a low budget, it is not too much to ask for the filmmakers to take some dirt from their backyards or the nearest mountain and spread it around the set. It is ridiculous that every room we visit looks astonishingly clean for a place that is supposed to have been abandoned for years. I’ve seen gas station restrooms that look considerably more disgusting than, for example, a room with a bathtub where patients were supposedly drowned.

Arguments among the characters are extremely unpleasant to listen to because ugly words are used but none of the arguments hold meaning. They do not move the plot forward. One gets the impression that there is no script and so the actors are forced to ad-lib even though they do not have the range or talent for it. As a result, we forced to endure endless exchanges where nothing happens.

Directed by Sean Stone, there is not one scary bone in “Greystone Park” but there is a lot senseless noise. I found it to be trashy, cheap, and poorly made—certainly a trial to sit through. I cannot imagine a rational person, horror fan or otherwise, taking pleasure from watching it. Clearly, effort and thought is not put into the project. What it offers is one thing: to take away ninety precious minutes of a person’s life.

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