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John’s Horror Corner: Hold Your Breath (2012), just plain bad!

March 31, 2013

MY CALL:  Ouch.  Craptastic acting, lousy writing, stupid scenarios, destitute effects and a ripped off premise make this movie an affront to B-horror.  This is more like D-horror and I give it an “F.”.  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  There are much better creepy asylum movies–namely Session 9 (2001), Grave Encounters (2011) and American Horror Story season 2 (2012).  For a better breathable spirit movie, aim for Fallen (1998).

In 1956, during an insane criminal’s execution at an asylum, he gets violent and babbles a bunch of religious banter until they give him the chair.  But wait second.  Since when do we execute the criminally insane?  And since when have executions been performed at asylums?  [That’s Strike 1]

Skip to present day.  Jerry (Scream Queen Katrina Bowden; Piranha 3DD, Tucker and Dale vs Evil), Kyle, Heath, Tony, Samantha, Johnny (Randy Wayne; Terror Toons 2, Caretaker) and Natasha (Erin Marie Hogan; The Theater Bizarre) load up an SUV and go off on a trip.  They all put their cell phones in the locked glove compartment of the car in what I find to be a very convenient horror ploy to keep them from calling for help later.  This would simply not happen.  No group of seven, social, good-looking 20-somethings would ever do this voluntarily.  No way!  How else can they Tweet, Instagram or Facebook about it?  [That’s Strike 2]

At the beginning of the drive they pass a graveyard near the asylum and Jerry goes into a serious panic, blurting out some folklore that if you don’t hold your breath then an evil spirit may enter your body.  Really?  A hot, mainstream 22-year old is going to find this worrisome?  [That’s Strike 3, and we’re only 10 minutes into the movie]  Anyway… Naturally, the stoner (Kyle) wanted to enjoy a good toke and inhaled.  Annnnnnnnd now he’s the killer.

They pull off near an old asylum and decide it would be cool to go inside. Weird stuff happens.  Then they go on to their camping trip and we learn that the evil spirit can pass from one possessed person to another by breath.  This sounds like the touch-and-go Rolling Stones-loving Azazel of Fallen (1998).  And, like Azazel, our spirit has a tell.
Who’s the killer now?
It’s Katrina Bowden! And she has an egg beater!!!

Outside of some decent blood work, effects including storms, wind, electricity, explosions and fire are destitute. One of the only things about this movie that was done well was a gratuitous sex scene, which really felt like watching a soft-core porn on late night Cinemax and otherwise totally broke the flow and mood of this already insufferably bad horror.  There’s other nudity as well and, even as far as direct-to-DVD horror goes, it’s not in good taste.  [How many strikes am I up to here?]

In the end, the way they defeat the evil, 20-something-possessing spirit is incredibly stupid–almost enraging.  Okay, I smiled a few times.  But it really is quite terrible.
They find a retired guy who worked at the asylum when the killer was executed.
They form an evil spirit lynch mob.

Let’s just skip this one, okay?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2013 7:40 pm

    There’s one thing that bothers me about this extraordinarily bad film, in the credits it says that filming was done in California, in the cemetery scene, one can clearly see spanish moss hanging liberally from the trees. Spanish moss in California?

    • johnleavengood permalink
      May 8, 2013 9:00 pm

      LOL Your powers of observation are scarier than the incorporeal killer in this movie. I wonder if those were prop Spanish moss clumps placed by non-Californian filmmakers filming in California…?


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