The Sick House
(Showbox DVD retail)
Young archaeologist (Gina Philips) finds her research into London’s great plague of 1665 barred when public health officials reveal that the former orphanage she is excavating still contains plague. Undeterred, she makes a midnight visit to the site before its destruction, where she’s joined by a group of young tearaways escaping responsibility for the stolen car they’ve crashed. Inevitably, the spirit of an evil priest is conjured, and gets up to all manner of nastiness.
Curtis Radclyffe’s film promises tension but opportunities for real scares are dissipated by the repetitiveness of the visuals – all darkened halls, rats and shadows – from which no relief is offered. The plot, too, is poorly constructed, so little motivation seems to impel the characters to a silly, over convenient wrap-up. Extras include a perfunctory ‘making of’ documentary.