Plot: What’s it about?
I often wonder if characters in horror films watch horror films. If so, then the characters in The Cellar should really have known better. I’ll dive more into the plot in a bit, but it involves a family who moves into a remote location where their daughter will eventually go missing after going into the cellar of their new home. It has some reasonably effective moments, but ultimately, this is just a slow and plodding tale that you will want to hurry up and end. Despite a central mystery that is mildly intriguing. The film just doesn’t have enough to sustain its running time, and ultimately stalls long before the closing credits.
A family of four have just moved into a new home. Brian Woods (Eoin Macken), his wife Keira (Elisha Cuthbert) and their children Steven (Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady) and Elle (Abby Fitz) are getting used to the new adjustment. The daughter Elle gives me most trouble as she isn’t keen on the change, but her mother assures her it’s for the best as Brian just got a new job that forced this relocation. One night, the parents have to go out and leave the kids at home. Elle goes down into the cellar and then vanishes. It’s now up to Keira and Brian to try and find their missing daughter.
I will admit that for a while I was willing to go along with the premise, and it did leave me wanting to know just what happened to the missing daughter. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the film simply lost me. I became bored with a lot of the repetition. I believe a lot of this to be because Cellar is based on a short film, and it feels at times like it has been padded. I checked my watch on more than a few occasions and was surprised to learn how little time had passed. Cuthbert (who I never would’ve guessed to be her) does well in the lead role, but the script doesn’t take her character anywhere interesting. Chalk this one up as a letdown.
Video: How’s it look?
With a 2.39:1 transfer, we get solid results here. It wasn’t the brightest image I have ever seen, but wasn’t flawed in any serious way that I could see. Details are fine and there weren’t any serious print flaws or other artifacts. So, while not perfect, I think it gets more than enough right.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Also decent is the DTS HD track. I did expect a bit more “pop” to the soundtrack, but it wasn’t overly lacking, either. Vocals were fine and had the expected clarity. There are times that the track kicked to live during some of the heavier moments. All things told; this presented the film in a mostly positive manner.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Brendan Muldowney and Producer Richard Bolger provide a running chat for the film. A lot of ground is covered for those interested. I didn’t care for the film, but the commentary provided a lot of good details.
- The Ten Steps – This is the 2004 short film in which our feature film is based off of. It isn’t great, but I prefer the short version rather than the full-length feature. We can also view this with optional commentary.
- Interviews with the Cast and Crew – This features the usual chatter. Cuthbert makes a point of saying the location and shooting of this film has been her favorite so far.
- VFX Before and After – A brief comparison to some of the effects seen in the film before they had the added effects.
The Bottom Line
I tried, but The Cellar just didn’t cut it for me. It has some moments that offer intrigue, but too much of the film stalls and just bores us. Skip it.