DIRECTOR: Zack Ward
James Cullen Bressack
Emily Roya O'Brien
Sarah Ann Schultz
A young couple that are doing renovations on their new house accidentally unearth a teddy bear that was hidden within the walls. Inside of the teddy bear, they discover a secret diary. The words inside the journal are that of an eleven-year-old girl who was a murder victim. After they discover the diary. They begin being haunted by the spirit of the young girl who now seeks retribution for her own murder.
Restoration has the honour of having one of the coolest movie posters that I think I've seen for a horror movie in 2016. It's also one of the most misleading when you compare it to the quality of the finished film. Here we have a case of when woefully dull and just plain lousy horror films happen to good posters. I'd highly recommend that you just admire the movie poster while perusing your online streaming website instead of suffering through this lifeless hour and a half.
Regarding plot, I think Restoration has a rather interesting story at its centre. When the discovery of a journal details the murder of a young child. The couple must now investigate her death. I think its a pretty impressive basis for a storyline if I do say so myself. It's just a shame that what eventually transpires in the film isn't executed as well as the plot intends. This goes off the rails once our couple begins to investigate the murder and it never really recovers itself.
It appears that my viewing habits over the last couple of months have brought me a slew of films that think ending it on a dark note will work in its favour. Sometimes a dark ending can give the film a sense of bleakness and leave you shattered. The Mist and The Witch are two recent movies that worked for me when it comes to great dark endings. Restoration decides to throw one last curveball right towards the end which felt unnecessary. In a film of murdered children and demonic ghosts, you won't lose credibility for letting your characters live happily ever after.
When it comes to the pacing of this movie, Restoration has a lot of problems. The film is awfully slow for much of its running time. I found myself quite bored with most of the first and second acts of the film. The film does get a little bloody and violent in its third act, and the pace does pick up towards the end, but it's a case of too little and way too late when you've spent the first hour and fifteen minutes of your movie not giving the audience much to that horror flavour.
This brings me to the movie's lack of suspense. Restoration is kinda dry on all fronts when it comes to suspense, tension, and scares. I think because the movie lacked all three, I found myself ultimately bored by most of the film. I think towards the end of the movie when all hell breaks loose. It's only then do we feel a huge hit of adrenalin. For those last few minutes, I found one shock moment in the entire film that involved a knife and a woman's mouth. That's about it.
Visually, I found Restoration to be rather dull looking overall. The movie does have a few scenes where they try to throw in a few visual effects but it all comes off rather cheap looking. This is probably down to the fact that the film is quite a low budget flick so I can't be too hard on it due to those restraints. The movie does try and add some flair to the film with its visual effects so at times it deserves a point for trying.
Zack Ward is an actor who I've seen in a few films. He regularly works with Uwe Boll, this is not a claim to fame, by the way, it's actually the complete opposite. He's been in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Freddy Vs. Jason, and Transformers. As a filmmaker, I really do believe that he does show some promise as a director. I think given a larger budget, he may go on to bigger and better things. Restoration as a first movie is not something I think shows his full potential as a director yet.
Lastly, the acting is the reason this film gets that other point. Zack Ward and Sarah Ann Schultz as the nosey neighbours who may be more sinister than they initially let on deliver the best performances in the movie. They look like they have a lot of fun playing the villains. Adrian Gaeta and Emily Roya O'Brien as our young couple while not as fun as Zack and Sarah when it comes to both role and character still deliver half-decent performances.
DEATH TOLL: 4
BLOOD AND GORE:
- Hand cut open.
- Man's arms are burnt (Flesh is shown).
- Guy slicing his chest open with a kitchen knife.
- A buzzsaw to the leg.
- Someone is repeatedly stabbed.
- Woman falls mouth first onto a kitchen knife.
Restoration is a movie that spiked my interest due to it's fantastic and rather smart looking poster. After watching the film, I was left ultimately bored by the entire film. The movie lacks real suspense, tension, and scares. The only real positive aspect that is worth mentioning is that Restoration has a few entertaining performances, but it's not enough to save Zack Ward's directional debut.