A bunch of stupid youngsters decide to spend Halloween night in an abandoned old hospital/asylum harbouring nasty ghosties who don't particularly like visitors.
Written and directed by Fangoria writer Anthony C. Ferrante (his directorial debut), this horror flick announces itself as a belated (and I do mean belated) rip-off of 'Scream' from the get-go. It's virtually a remake of that film's excruciatingly tense opening scene except there's no Drew Barrymore, no tension, and seemingly no irony. Many sycophants...er...critics have seen the film as an affectionate homage to horror films past, and perhaps had I known of Ferrante's background beforehand, I might have been more sympathetic, but I never got any indication this was a total parody/homage.
The villain's costume is a rip-off of 'Scream', the pumpkin motif is from 'Halloween', the music score is a combo of 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th', and the sucky title makes it sound like a spoofy William Castle film, which it isn't. This isn't homage, people, it's a cheap knock-off, stop being so kind. The Castle reference I made is apt- I mean, with one or two alterations, the plot would be almost identical to the plot of the 'House on Haunted Hill' remake (with Dee Wallace Stone essentially playing Jeffrey Combs by way of Nurse Ratched), which itself was tolerable at best, but far better than this. I did like the amusing reference to 'Blacula' and 'Dolemite', in 'Count Pimpula', but I'm not sure how many others will get that reference.
As for the gore, there's an interesting falling-to-pieces bit ruined by subpar FX, and the rest is nothing to write home about. The best, and frankly, only good thing about this generally uninteresting, uninspired horror knock-off is the crisp cinematography (the lighting is especially good), but that can't save us from the tedium
The actors, meanwhile, are Rudy Ray Moore bad, especially the African-American 'Final Girl'. I mean, what the hell is going on here? They get the cinematography right, and yet the script, and performances are shocking. Shouldn't the script be sorted out before you worry about lighting the damn thing? 'Goosebumps' books have been scarier experiences than this (A piano that plays itself? Really? Where's the black cat, eh? Or the tricycle with no one riding it?).
There's the germ for something enjoyable here, clichéd or not, the notion of a gory ghost story set in an abandoned building is still a solid foundation, that is unfortunately undone by terrible treatment here.