Basement Jack (2009)

   
Co-Produced & Directed by: Michael Shelton

Produced & Written by: Brian Patrick O'Toole

Starring:

Eric Peter-Kaiser .... Jack Riley
Michele Morrow .... Karen Cook
Sam Skoryna .... Chris Watts
Lynn Lowry .... Mrs. Riley
M. Steven Felty .... Sgt. Pignataro
Billy Morrison .... Detective Beck
Tiffany Shepis .... Officer Armando
Joel Brooks .... Officer Wytynek
Nathan Bexton .... The Manager

Release Date: Direct-to-DVD: October 23, 2009 (Germany); November 17, 2009 (USA)

*Images courtesy at www.filmstarts.de

Rating:

 

A young lady named Karen Cook (Michelle Morrow) is running away from a killer named Jack Riley (Eric Peter-Kaiser) who has killed her entire family during a thunderstorm in their basement but was sent away only to find out that he was released from the psych ward he was staying in 11 years later by not receiving a fair trial.
She discovers there's murders wherever she goes that resembled the killings of her family. She goes to the aid of an officer named Chris Watts (Sam Skoryna) who tries to solve the missing pieces in which family members are slaughtered and placed in different areas of their homes while the killer is in their basement ready to attack when a thunderstorm happens.
It seemed to effect Jack when he was a kid as he was tortured and abused by his nasty mother Mrs. Riley (Lynn Lowry) and has killed her since then so when he spots any family members he seems to hallucinate that it's his mother calling to him.

 

An independent slasher film which works very well by itself since it shows good elements with a killers history reminding you of similar old school slasher flicks like Halloween and Friday the 13th but yet alot of the plotlines are original at the same time. The people behind this really knew how to make this film look dark as he shows a nice scene with close up shots on some corpses at a table and lightning light effects shining on them as well as a good chasing scene with the killer Jack Riley going after Karen Cook around a house while there's shots on her trying to hide or defending herself against him in a basement with a good shot on him falling down from an electrocution.
There's a decent discussion with a police sergeant scolding another officer about a situation and giving him some warnings in which the the scene looked a bit plain but at the same time there's nice firm attitude on this main officer with his sidekick acting nervous and good close up shots on each of them when they're talking too.
There's many good flashback sequences with an evil mother torturing the killer when he was a young teenager which almost makes it hard to watch but it was the most entertaining piece in this horror flick which was quite clever on how this killer came to be with his bad memories going on a spree to kill every family from their basement. It's also a good fear on what can lurk in a basement during thunderstorms. It's of course every child's fear and watching this will make them never want to go in their basement ever again.
There's a nice camera shot rolling by on a house in the night with a good close up shot on Jack's eyes with a good flashback sequence on his nasty mother Mrs. Riley at the house in the daytime getting nasty and abusive with a younger Jack Riley chained to a metal pole and getting upset which looked quite disturbing.
There's a good close up shot on Jack looking at some photos from a box in a basement and then some nice shots on his feet walking up some stairs and then peeking through a doorway watching a woman feed her baby. Next there's another great shot on his Mom acting nasty by trying to feed her baby which looked believeably dysfunctional. There's great close up shots on her as well.
There's a good scene with Sgt. Pignataro planning a mission with the rest of the officers trying to track the killer down which looked quite well done with the shots on him, some pictures and surrounding the officers.
Some good shots fading in and out on Jack placing down a bloody machette and then placing corpses at a table which looked like a nice grisly work of art. There's also some good shots on a resident running up some stairs and suspenseful shots on him trying to hide away in a bathroom with good shots on Jack's feet walking up some stairs as well as swinging his machette and trying to find him. Plus a good shot on a machette stabbing at the bathroom door along with Jack smashing the door open with his hands which is necessary for a slasher film.
There's a perfect shot on a corpse lying on a ground with a machette in the head with a camera looking up on Jack taking the machette out.
There's a perfect discussion with Karen talking to Chris about what happened to her family and discussing the killer with him showing her pictures of some victims they found as it looked nicely done.
There's a great moment with Karen and Chris going to a house invaded by the police with them questioning Detective Beck on what's happening and he acts ignorant as well as Officer Wytynek arresting her as a suspect which picks up alot of intense energy.
There's a nice shot on Jack kneeling down in a basement and then getting up after he spots a door opening and swinging his machette with a good close up shot on a woman walking down in the middle of the stairs and then a good shot on him holding his machette and getting ready to kill.
There's a nice sleazy scene between Mrs. Riley with a delivery man and young Jack being forced to watch this as she speaks nastily to him telling him to watch them when she tries to make passes at him.
There's a good shot with Jack as a kid in a hospital bed strapped down acting in pain from the electricity charging in him. Then a nice shot on Jack as of today thinking about this memroy by slamming his machette down near a table.
There's a good shot looking down on Jack walking into a kitchen and then a good flashback sequence with Mrs. Riley laughing evilly and young Jack sitting in a chair tied down with an event happening which looked very disturbing and well done as well as good close up shots on his wrists tied to the back and trying to get out while she taunts him what's going to happen to him when he gets older like his father being electrocuted to death.
There's a nice moment with Karen lifting up her shirt showing Chris her scars from the killer as if she wanted to seduce him as it looked very horror and playful like.
There's some good struggling moments with Karen trying to get away from Jack as well as doing battles with him and suddenly the policemen breaking in and stopping her which showed some good timing.
There's a good shot on Jack's feet walking into a police station with the wind blowing and then swinging his machette at the officers chopping them away which looked good and gruesome. There's alot of suspense and excitement with both Chris and Karen trying to get away.
There's a nice chase up at the top of a building with Karen trying to hide and good dark shots on Jack looking around and trying to find her.
There's many good scenes with the two main actors in the film trying to track down the killer as well as arresting one of them for mistakened identity for the murders which keeps you watching for more to see how this murder case can get solved.
Bottom line is that this is a brilliant slasher film and the story works well from beginning to end adding great touches for having the killer kill from a basement whenever a thunderstorm happens which makes the film terrifying and entertaining even if it was made on a low made for DVD budget but it's not an awful budget at all offering some good effects used in this flick. Of course most independent flicks are made on lower budget's than other types. Turn off the lights while watching this one for sure.

Eric Peter-Kaiser (Jack Riley) was made up incredibly well as the killer and really knew how to show cold expressions and act menacing with his machette too. He brings his horror character out very well and deserves good credit for it. He does well in a scene with his hands to his head as if he were in pain thinking of a terrible flashback memory. Plus has more nice blocking while swinging his machette when he is about to do in his next victim. He shows a nice evil stare towards someone in one part of a scene in the story.
Michelle Morrow
(Karen Cook) had alot of great spunk in her part as target for this killer in which she shows a great outgoing attitude as well as being charming too. She also showed alot of great aggressions when she needed to for the certain scene's in the film by going straight to the point on situations which looked powerful. Also showed off nice struggling actions too. There's a good moment with her trying to get demanding towards her fellow actor once she's arrested the second time telling him what's going to happen with the killer getting away as she shows great aggressions while he acts stubborn about it. It looked very believeable. She showed terrific energy and inspiration with her role and a worthy character actress. She would portray a perfect scream queen.
Sam Skoryna
(Chris Watts) shows a good passiveness as the main guy here playing an officer who is struck between a rock and a hard place with his job. He shows a real nice guy next door type of personality with a calm and quiet attitude to his part in the film.
This was a great comeback for Lynn Lowry (Mrs. Riley) playing an evil mother to the killer showing nice sneering actions with her abusive behavior and really getting into her role plus having a great sleazy attitude too. Plus was great at speaking nastily and laughing evilly too. She knew this part inside out and studied this part terrifically. She was a perfect drawing card to the film and stood out the most.
M. Steven Felty
(Sgt. Pignataro) knew his stuff as an obnoxious police chief in the film with his stern behavior towards others and gruff looks too. He knows how to come across clearly that he doesn't take crap from anyone and comes off well with that.
Billy Morrison
(Detective Beck) sure came across as someone you'd hate to know with his sarcastic behavior and closedminded attitude playing the head detective in the film. He reminds you as one of those morons who wants to make your life miserable for sure.
Tiffany Shepis (Officer Armando) has a nice supporting role showing a great tough as nail no bullshit officer attitude in her role in which she puts everything she had into the role to make her part very believeable and I found this to be her best performance so far since I've never seen her portray a role as good as this and moving up to other horror films made on a bit of a bigger budget too.
Nathan Bexton
(The Manager) brought a bit of humor to his part as an eccentric manager of a building although I didn't find him overly funny he did come across by having a weird personality. He could play a killer huimself as he could make a great suspect in this one.

A woman is topless fornicating in bed

Eyes are plucked out
Bodies slaughtered and bloodily stabbed
The side of a person's face is torn off in a vehicle
Many bodies are cut through by a machette
A machette is sliced through people's heads
Officers heads are chopped off in a police station
A woman officer is lying on the ground with her insides spilled out

We hear some nice synthesizer low violin sounds which works well for a low budgeter type of horror like this one plus alot of good piano effects too. There's the odd great gloomy low keyboard type of thumps for the killer about to attack in the dark. There's also some good scraping metal sounds with the odd bumps too which worked perfectly. All of this was done by Alan Howarth who has worked in countless horror films with his music including many of the Halloween sequels.