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The Stone
The Stone: No Soul Unturned

UK 2011
produced by
Nik Spencer, Philip Gardiner (executive), Warren Croyle (executive), Andrew Gough (executive) for Chalk Productions, Reality Entertainment
directed by Philip Gardiner
starring Andrew Gough, Sarah Dunn, Layla Randle-Conde, Wesley Dolan, Craig Dalziel, Nik Spencer, Suzy Deakin, Tony Rotherham, Corjan de Raaf, Simon Dulay, Druidicca, Ade Andrews, Sylvia Robson, Kerrie Denning, Jo Jo Shaw, Nick Pope, Patrice Chaplin, Robert Feather, Franky Ma
written by Philip Gardiner, music by James Earnshaw, Corjan de Raaf

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Alistair (Andrew Gough) leads a group of spiritual sekers (Sarah Dunn, Layla Randle-Conde, Wesley Dolan, Craig Dalziel) to what is dubbed as the most haunting place in the UK, an old and crumbling mansion that at one point belonged to Lord Byron. At first, the whole expedition seems like nothing but a fun camping trip with friends, only disturbed by the occasional weird local showing up. Also, a group of Satanists performing a Black Mass in the neighbourhood doesn't seem too disturbing, because let's face it, Satanists would perform Black Masses in the vicinity of places that are supposed to be haunted, wouldn't they?

It all starts to get slightly out of hand when our heroes start having nightmares that are somehow linked, and several have ghostly apparitions. Eventually, this leads them to the (now empty) place where the Satanists had their Black Mass, remove some floowboards under the Satanists' altar, and find a coffin complete with a rotting corpse inside - and a bag containing an egg-shaped black stone.

Our heroes don't know what to make of the stone, so they take it with them, but soon they have to find out the stone has supernatural powers, and it digs deep into their minds and souls to find their hidden guilt and fears - to kill each of them in the most fitting, most painful way ...

 

My synopsis, I'm afraid to admit, doesn't do The Stone much justice,  as the film is not so much a narrative movie as it is a mood piece. Point is that writer/director Philip Gardiner left his film's plot intentionally fragmentary and wastes little time with explanations or elaborate origin stories (which I'm sure he'd have in his fingertips with his past in occult documentaries) to concentrate on The Stone's main reason of being - to scare people shitless ... and hey, it's a horror film, and that's exactly what horrormovies are supposed to be about, right. Gardiner is of course helped by a competent cast, excellent camerawork and simply breathtaking locations (which he captures perfectly).

In all, a pretty great movie!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD