The Telling (2009)


Directed by: Nicholas Carpenter

Written by:
Joe Lessard


Holly Madison .... Stephanie
Christina Rosenberg .... Amber
Nicole Zeoli .... Roxi
Najarra Townsend .... Brianna
Wesley Stiller .... Greg
Alyssa Price .... Megan
Sara Jean Underwood .... Tracey
Bridget Marquardt .... Eva DeMarco
Diana Salinger .... Alina
John D'Aquino .... Victor
Jean Louise O'Sullivan .... Haley
Ed Gale .... Footcandle
Stephanie Sanborn .... Phoebe
James MacPherson .... Officer Embers
Jessica Noboa .... Tonya
Rebekah Kochan .... Lily

Release Date:
Direct-to-DVD: April 14, 2009

*Images courtesy at:



Three girls pledge to a stuck up sorority on campus as the head sorority sister Stephanie (Holly Madison) demands many things to them but the most important rule of them all is to tell them the scariest story in order to accept them else they will be rejected.

One of them tells them a tale about a cute talking doll as a jealous girlfirned named Tracey (Sara Jean Underwood) doesn't trust her boyfriend Greg (Wesley Stiller) and this doll seems to tag around him and she suspects that their roomate Megan (Alyssa Price) is behind all this. Yet this doll seems to have deadly plans and has a life of it's own.

The other pledge tells the a tale about a has been actress Eva DeMarco (Bridget Marquait) trying to get her fame back in which she enters a mansion and meets a strange woman residing there named Alina (Diana Salinger) along with who seems like a normal resident named Victor (John D'Aqino) in which they strike up a good conversation but while she stays there she has strange dreams and discovers that these residents are from the undead.

The third pledge talks about three girls having a slumber party and their cable TV needs fixing so they decide to make what they think is an innocent prank call only to discover that resident on the other line is killed by a person who went to their door and the killer finds out the number they called and could possibly be paying a visit to them.


The first start of this flick looks cheesily suspenseful when some sorority girls discover a dead body with lipstick message on the mirror and then it goes into the opening credits looking neat with the computer effects displaying the credits here. It also seems amusing to watch the head sorority sister Stephanie getting cocky and controlling at the pledge by manipulating the wannabe's into telling them a scary story and the winner becomes a part of them which seems to be clever to put into a horror anthology.
It's cheesy but still entertaining to watch this moment when the first story happens in which this looks funny showing an introduction to a doll as you hear it talking a cute voice saying it loves them person holding her in which this is of course the main hunk Greg as in which this seems to start off nicely in which you could tell that there's something deadly about this doll that is supposed to look almost cute. However, it has darklike features. I was chuckling a bit since it seemed almost obvious for this doll to be spookylike and kinda backfires.
There's a neat cheesy moment with a glass falling to the ground smashing and this doll is sitting nearby in which this moment was supposed to make you cringe when another character named Tracey shocked by what she spots as this was supposed to look creepy. Yet it seemed a little too funny on how this was all shot. This wasn't terrible by any means.
There's a nice intense moment with Tracey aggressively accusing her roomate Megan on what the doll was telling her thinking there's some recorder in it due to the jealousy of her boyfriend Greg in which makes you wonder if they will get into a cat fight that it looked good and psychological with one person angry and the other trying to be calm about everything.
Things really turn great here when the doll says something towards Tracey in which she goes into a rage making you think if she will go insane or not and a good pointer in this chapter that will totally grab your attention as to what will happen next.
I must say there is a moment that is quite creepy as Megan spots the doll inside a cupboard below a sink and she slowly bends down to look inside a little closer which this works in alot of horror films knowing that something deadly will happen that will make you jump. Well it was close to making you jump but misses a tiny bit. Still this was pretty spooky to watch.

The second chapter looks fairly amusing with when the character actress Eva enters a mansion with an igor type midget Footcandle answering the door as well as being greeted by a mysterious woman named Haley showing her the place which looks like a good old fashioned horror introduction while watching all of this.
The story seems okay to watch but then later on Eva has this strange dream hallucination with a topless dark angel type taunting her in which looks pretty phony to watch and just plain silly too. It certainly doesn't make the dream sequence look convincing at all.
The story certainly looked twisted when Eva is sitting with Haley and other people as they are all wearing funny masks which seems impressive in the story here knowing that something crazy is about to happen and making it a nice fit for another twisted chapter for the anthology here. Plus she watches a film showing death and destruction in which this moment can psych you out by watching this. This almost seemed to have a bit of the same chemistry like in A Clockwork Orange.
This second chapter didn't impress me at all even if the beginning looked impressive and the ending was supposed to give you a spooky feel on what happens to Eva like she isn't herself anymore but this looked corny and cheesy to watch this.

Yet the third chapter worked very well but at first it seems lame as three girls gripe about not getting cable and one of them tries to find a dvd which looks like one of those nude made for DVD flicks or yet a porno. I was like C'mon this needs improvement.
The story gets exciting when one of them makes a prank call which makes you want to join in for the fun and then another one does what you might think is an innocent one on getting free pizza and hears on the other line that he answers the door and is killed by a maniac. Although hearing on the other end with the slashing sounds seems cheesy it still was pretty impressive and having a feeling that these girls will be involved with this.
Then there's the phone ringing at their home in which is a total classic for a scare having a deep dark feeling that it will be the killer. Plus there's the loud door knocking saying it's the police making you wonder if it's the killer trying to fool them.
Also the story remains mysterious with the officer later on leaving and then looking through their window warning them that it was unlocked which makes you cringe wondering if he is the actual killer disguised in a police uniform since alot of these horror flicks will have you fooled big time.
There's some good killings as well as the survivor spotting the officer as his hand is scarred by a cut which also looked impressive psyching you out that this guy must be the killer and what he's going to do next. But there's a twist to this story. You'll see what I mean when you watch all of this.

Afterwards we spot a nice vengeful ending in the wraparound story but however some of the stuff in it looked a little phony in which seemed pretty amateurish. I could see a better improvement but the writing in it was pretty good regardless.
Bottom line is that the film was made on a low budget but not a terrible budget and has some decent values for an independent made for DVD anthology. Yet certain elements in the chapter seemed stale and sometimes boring. However some of the other elements were fun to watch adding a good sense of humor too along with the mysterious frights. The flick seemed to borrow heavily from others like Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt.

Some of the acting is good and some of it is off so let's take a look here. Ah lead actress Holly Madison (Stephanie) seems to know how to act irritating when she speaks as well as having a cocky attitude but yet she is at times too over the top whenever she behaves like this and needed a bit of improvement on her acting skills in which she seemed to have graduated from a modelling academy and trying to learn on how to become an actress. She isn't terrible but needs a bit of a push.
Nicole Zeoli (Roxi) seemed to have quite a sexy appeal as one of the other sorority sisters and spoke smoothly. I found that she came across perfectly onto the camera and seemed to know her stuff as one of those popular stuck up types in the flick thinking that she's above others. Yes she can pass okay as a character actress.
Najarra Townsend (Brianna) shows off a great amount of energy with her vengeful attitude in which she does a good job with her aggressions really rolling with the punches here along with doing well by acting stern. She also does well with her emotional behavior too which was another nice plus to her persona. I give her credit for trying her best with this character that she portrays.
Wesley Stiller (Greg) comes off with a flirtatious type charm and wit as the guy next door in the first chapter. I liked his characteristics as someone who is believeably light headed in what he does in the film also he does well with his sarcastic attitude towards the doll. Sometimes though he lacks a bit with his surprised attitude and emotional sobbing too whenever he needs to do this.
Alyssa Price (Megan) brings a nice calmness to her role as one of those innocent types in the film and has the lnice looks to show it off as I could tell that she really studied this part. Sometimes though when she has to act in intense fear that her energy level is a bit low. She however tries her best in which I could tell by her performance in this flick.
Sara Jean Underwood (Tracey) was a hoot in her performance in which she does well with whatever she does especially when she behaves very vulgar and aggressive. Does an impressive job by screaming and acting anxious when she spots the doll in her bed. She certainly comes across as someone who can't control their temperamental attitude in which it was great that she acted as crazy as she wanted to along with almost losing her mind. I found her to be a natural ham as well as someone to stay away from when having a bad mood too. Two thumbs up.
Bridget Marquardt (Eva Demarco) seemed like anothe rone of those types who came out of modelling school and is learning on how to act in which she is quite rough with her anxious reactions but sometimes seems to do okay when she has a calm type of behavior but in a certain scene does well with her mysterious attitude and slowly walking towards a sink really getting into her cautious mode. Yet she doesn't seem to cut it as a character actress regardless. Her bloody screaming and struggling seemed to fall flat which comes to her acting skills when the terror strikes her. Oh well.
Diana Salinger (Alina) brings across a creepiness to her speaking in which she certainly proves herself worthy as one of the key mistresses in the story and really showing pride in her work with an intimidating type of role like what she portrays here. I found her to be the best out of the whole cast in the film plus has the right wicked looks to what she does here.
John D'Aquino (Victor) was nice and clear with his speaking in which he shows a nice decency to his part in the story along with someone who is mysterious and untrustworthy at the same time. I liked what he did in his performance showing a nice dark side to his personality. He for sure knows on how to portray a horror character.
James MacPherson (Officer Embers) certainly had a great macho appeal to portray a police officer and definetely had the perforct attitude to portray this as someone who seems to be the caring type but yet a little odd. He deifentely knows his stuff well at portraying a suspect in the story and shows off some good energy into his performance. I found him to be another great actor in this anthology.
Jessica Noboa
(Tonya) grabs attention big time in this flick in which she knew on how to act believeably fearful and confused in what is happening as well as having a perfect sobbing emotions along with her aggressive behavior too. A great sobbing and freaked out reaction on her after what she spots in which she shows great intense energy on what to do in this matter. She shows off alot of energy into doing all of this that was mentioned here and is a decent character actress.

A woman takes off her robe and exposes her boobs
There's a topless dark angel of death sort in a dream sequence
Another woman is barebreasted in a distance of a room

A corpse is bloodied on the floor but it doesn't look all too graphic
Bloody stabbing and shooting on a police officer

Kevin McDaniels was simple with his work on the film as he makes some of the sounds seem really dark and creepy which fits in with the chapters here and the odd hissing sounds too. Nothing too spectacular but passable enough.