A group of paranormal investigators under pressure to make their show more interesting decide to shoot their next episode at an abandoned prison complex. This after the land owner assured them that this place was most definitely haunted.
Sounds really familiar, right? Sounds like the plot of Grave Encounters, right? Or a thousand other cheap ghostly/paranormal horrors, right?
Well that’s exactly what we get here. An wholly unoriginal horror with a bad plot, poor acting and ugly CGI. Hold onto your proton packs, this is going to be a rough one.
Haunting of Cellblock 11 otherwise known as Apparitional was written & directed by Andrew P. Jones. It sees the crew of the reality TV show, Ghost Sightings threatened with cancellation due to falling ratings. Their boss, Ms. Simon (Dee Wallace) doesn’t even try to sugar-coat it.
Happily the crew need not worry as Mr. Gaffney (Bill Lithgow) arrives to tell them of a super-haunted place. One that even sees the ghost inside attacking people, something he is able to backup by showing them scars on his body.
Excited, the crew made up of leader Joel (Jeffery Johnson), medium Roger (John Zderko), Kate (Linara Washington) and Berger (Charlie Koontz) agree to investigate. Nothing they’ve experienced so far on their TV show could have prepared them for this. For you see the the prison is haunted but by very angry ghosts who want vengeance on those who incarcerated them!
Cue found-footage style shots & plenty of jump-scares. Haunting of Cellblock 11 is so ‘by the numbers’ it’s almost impressive. You can’t help but think that they’d have to work hard to be this bland!
The location isn’t the worst & it could have allowed for some tense & creepy moments. Instead it just becomes window dressing as the movie has no use for subtly. In your face sightings, possessions, people being grabbed & dragged away…it’s nonsense. Not helped by the lacklustre acting, so forgettable & devoid of character work. Not that they had much to go on as these are lifeless puppets they’re trying to animate.
As the film goes on it tries to jam in a contrived plot point to set up a final twist that even a blind bat in the daytime could see coming. Utterly pointless & not in anyway satisfying.
Just like the movie overall.
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Haunting of Cell Block 11