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With: Christina Robinson, Rachel True, Kevin Nash, Sully Erna, Danielle Guldin, Eric Lutes, Armen Garo, Michael Zuccola, Tanja Melendez Lynch, Pamela Jayne Morgan, Mike Messier, David Tessier, Tandi Tugwell, Mike Bennett, Mark Sullivan
Written by: Tom DeNucci, Glenn Jeffrey, Mike Messier, Matt O'Connor
Directed by: Jonathon Schermerhorn
MPAA Rating: R for horror violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Running Time: 87
Date: 05/18/2018

The Manor (2018)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

In a 'Manor' of Reeking

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Seriously bizarre and laughably awful, this low-budget horror movie throws in just about every shopworn idea under the sun, excepting anything that might be considered scary, alluring, or entertaining.

In The Manor, Amy Hunter (Christina Robinson) is, on her 18th birthday, released from a long stay at a psychiatric hospital, even though her doctor (Rachel True) has reservations. Her mother (Tanja Melendez Lynch) picks her up and they immediately head to Anders Manor for a family reunion with cousins, and an aunt and uncle.

Things begin awkwardly, but Amy begins to bond with her cousin Blaire (Danielle Guldin) — and feels stirrings for her other cousin Trevor (Michael Zuccola). Then, three hillbilly hunters show up at the manor, as well as a busload of religious cultists known as the True Believers, led by Reverend Thomas (Kevin Nash). Amidst much drinking and partying, a demon known as Aka Mana, which had previously only haunted Amy's nightmares, shows up and begins wreaking havoc.

The Manor — previously titled Anders Manor — is bad enough to warrant an MST3K episode or a YouTube skewering from someone like JonTron or The Nostalgia Critic. Characters that don't go together wander aimlessly in a plot that makes no sense, as if just waiting to meet the killer and be sliced out of the movie as quickly as possible.

The crude lighting and the cinematography take images like a trail of chess pieces or a demon face that might have been terrifying in other hands, and render them about as scary as a backyard haunted house with the lights left on. To correct this, the filmmakers continuously resort to almost subliminal flashes of things like bloody knives, which also has little effect.

One of many flashback sequences shows a man explaining the game of chess, boldly singing things like "I am the white pawn! Clash, clash!"; it's so disconcertingly strange that it will make jaws drop. They are the strangest of many head-scratching moments that will have viewers wishing that this 'manor' would be condemned.

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