Horror Movie Review: The Innsmouth School for Girls (2023)

Praise The Great Old Ones, it’s another low-budget adaption of a famous piece of H.P. Lovecraft work. Here, it’s Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth that is getting a loose adaption. Called The Innsmouth School for Girls, it comes from writer and director Joshua Kennedy.

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Roberta (Hilda Sofia Bautista) is the new girl at The Innsmouth School for Girls, a boarding school with some dark secrets. Although that applies to the town of Innsmouth overall and Joshua Kennedy does a decent job of creating the sense of foreboding horror that Lovecraft infused his story with.

Anyway, Roberta struggles to fit in and clashes with some of the nastier girls, but that’s not her biggest concern. That’s the unusual behaviour of the staff and the locals, as well as a spate of missing students. Something odd is going on at The Innsmouth School for Girls, but by time she finds out, it might be too late.

It’s low-budget, it’s slow, and it features a cast that are all mostly brand-new to film acting, which sounds like a recipe for disaster. Surprisingly though, The Innsmouth School for Girls isn’t a bad film. Joshua Kennedy manages to keep the story interesting (up to a point), wrings the life out of the budget and creates enough atmosphere to excite the Lovecraftian senses. Not only that, but they clearly have a lot of love and respect for the source material and it shows. It looks decent, and sounds even better.

The cast are all pretty game, and while there are a few iffy reads and awkward moments, it’s fair to say that everyone tries. If you didn’t know beforehand that the majority of the cast were making their feature-film debut, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that from the performances.

All of this is a surprise, because there isn’t a great history of quality low-budget Lovecraft adaptions, so anything decent is worth shouting about. The Innsmouth School for Girls is better than decent, even if its flaws are notable.

It’s slow, and at times feels like its not really going anywhere. Then it just speeds up and ends. There’s a real sense of rushing and the final scenes come very fast. It’s disappointing as it definitely felt like there was more story to be told here. That being said, the final shot is pretty cool looking.

Don’t expect greatness from The Innsmouth School for Girls, and chances are you’ll come away pleasantly surprised.


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The Innsmouth School for Girls (2023)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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