The Dwelling (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jeff Maher

Writer: Cody Calahan, Jeff Maher (Screenplay)

Starring: Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Dennis Andres, George Krissa, Hamza Fouad, Alex Loubert

Plot: Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Twist to a Genre

Story: The Dwelling starts when four friends look to stay in a hotel for the night Ren (Andres), Fred (Krissa), Sandy (King) and Nancy (Cumyn), they stay in room 18 and have all been murdered, Virgil (Price) is leading the investigation into what happened, as we get to flashback to the events of the night.

As the night unfolds, Virgil tries to unlock the truth, when we see how the four friends had become trapped on an antique bed, where if they leave they will get picked off by something unknown and add in the spin that the friends start to communicate with Virgil from a different time.

Thoughts on The Dwelling

Characters – Virgil is a detective that is given the crime scene, he has his own tortured past which has seen him turn to substance abuse and his alienation of the rest of the team, he does figure stuff out the rest of the team doesn’t seem to pick up on and when he starts to speak to one of the victims, he finds himself trying to save them. Sandy, Nancy, Ren and Fred are the four friends that are in the hotel room, what starts as a night away, soon takes a turn when they become trapped, drawn towards something from their past or from their fears. Most of them have small additions to their character, but nothing overly memorable within their actions.

PerformancesColin Price as the detective is the strongest of the performers, he does make us think that we are going to see him look like an outsider through the film. When it comes to the four trapped in the room, not everything is as strong here because we don’t seem to feel the natural chemistry of the characters on screen.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that find themselves trapped on a bed in a hotel room, where if they get off the bed, they will die, until a cop gets in contact with them and starts to try and guide them out of the situation, which has seen them die. This is an interesting spin on the trapped genre, because we open the film knowing people have died in this room and now it is about cleaning up and solving the situation, but seeing the communication between the two sides shows how things have gone in a different direction to the normal. This does seem to start off seemingly like it is going to be a ‘saw’ like story, before turning more into a psychological story that will keep you guessing.

HorrorThe horror comes from seeing just what will be happening to the friends if they stay in this room for too long, we get moments of gore, but most in playing into the mindset of the characters.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film inside the one location, a hotel room, mixing between the two different times with the events of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used well when needed, but this film doesn’t want to turn them too often.


Scene of the Movie – The first incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The four friends don’t seem to have much about their characters away from this night.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting spin of the trapped genre in horror and will keep you on your toes, even if some of the performances are not the strongest.

Overall: Genre Spinning

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