If you are not familiar with the name “Geoff Tate”, then you must not be a hard rock fan. Tate was the lead singer of the band Queensryche, and he can belt out awesome songs with the best of them. I am a big fan of the ‘Ryche, so when I heard Tate was starring in a horror film, there was no way I was going to miss it. Thus, with high expectations, I threw in THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS and prepared myself for greatness.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get greatness.
Instead, I wound up with mediocrity. THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS is a so-so horror film that lacks in several areas. It does have an interesting premise, and the execution starts off pretty strong. Yet, the film begins to fall short once the house renovation starts. I won’t say the movie is awful, because it does contain some entertainment merit…but it’s certainly not great. As such, I have to classify this as a decent three out five stars horror flick.
If you are not familiar with THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of MVD Distribution:
James Parrish never displayed any signs of mental instability. That was until he murdered his wife and three sons then disappeared without a trace. Although police and regional authorities conducted a nationwide search, Parrish was nowhere to be found. In March 2010, a home improvement company began filming their debut television show in an abandoned house on Bayside, Queens, NY. Unfortunately for them, James Parrish had taken up residence in the derelict building. They never expected the events that would unfold that day would chronicle a bloody tale of murder at the hands of a disturbed and brutal killer… and everything was caught on film.
THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS is shot in two different styles. It starts off as a pseudo-documentary, filmed using interviews and archived video surveillance footage. But the second half of the film contains the “unused” as well as the edited footage from the home renovation television show. This drastic difference threw me off a bit for some reason. Thankfully, there are lead-ins that describe what we are about to see. If the lead-ins were missing, this would be a jumbled mess of random video.
The acting in THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS is decent, although I don’t think anybody will win any awards for their performances. The cast tries to come across as typical, gruff Northeasterners for the most part, however a few of them oversell their roles. The resulting stereotypical characters are not very likable, and therefore the audience doesn’t really care if they live or die. Geoff Tate does a decent job as the killer (yeah, I’m probably biased, but…), however the flashback scenes of his character are much more chilling than when he’s actually offing someone. I also have to mention Tate sings the primary theme song for the film, which is a great track. I’m going to try and find it online to buy.
The story premise is intriguing, however I have a hard time believing a killer can pick off people in a house full of carpenters and workers without anyone noticing. I think this lack of believability took me out of the film a bit and made me distance myself from the story. I would like to see this film redone, with a bigger budget and a different cast; a few changes in direction might make this a much better movie.
THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS is not a high budget feature, but it does have a lot of heart. Still, many horror fans will probably not enjoy this one, as heart alone cannot carry it for the full 82 minute running time. THE BURNINGMOORE DEATHS is available now, should you decide to take a look.