Being that I live in San Diego where the actual Whaley House is; when I saw that there was a Whaley House movie, I knew I wanted to review it. Then as I started the film and the credits told me it was made by The Asylum, I immediately regretted every decision that had led me to this point. Having seen and reviewed several Asylum films before, including this month’s Blood Lake, I knew my chances of getting anything decent were fairly slim. Thankfully, while not exactly good, the movie was at least watchably amusing.
The story follows a young tour guide for the Whaley House named Penny. Her job is to tell people about the most haunted house on Earth but we find out she is a sceptic and doesn’t believe in ghosts. For some reason, even though she has apparently just started working there, she has a key to open up the house because she has a morning shift. Her friends pester her into letting them wander around at night and she agrees because I guess she doesn’t like having a job. One of her friends invites his friend that is really into the whole ghost hunting thing and he invites a famous TV psychic to come along and it turns out he actually is a legit psychic.
I can’t make up my mind if the acting in this is pure genius or if they were all just so bad that it looped right back around to being great. Every line delivered in this movie is delivered so sincerely bad that I want to believe they were really trying to create a horror comedy. Even in the opening scene, a girl is taking the tour of the house and keeps seeing stuff out of the corner of her eye. When, at the end of the tour, she tries to convince everyone she has seen stuff she delivers one of my favorite lines in the movie. She points to a rocking chair that has started moving and declares “This house is haunted as fuck!”. I missed the next couple lines because I could not stop laughing at that.
There is also a great scene where, after some spooky shit goes down, one of the friends decides that it is time to get out. She goes to leaves but then gets ghost tripped and falls down the stairs which breaks her neck. Everyone freaks out and then attempts to call for help. Except for one friend who begins to go on one of those rants about how they will totally be arrested and it looks like they killed her. He insists on this and the argument goes on for way too long and is completely stupid. Yes, who could possibly believe your story? Probably anyone. You’re a bunch of idiots that wandered around a house and your friend is lying at the bottom of the stairs with what are obviously injuries from falling down some stairs. This is the least appropriate instance of the “We can’t call the police” speech ever.
The scares in the movie end up being ok, given that the rest of the movie is goofy as hell. There are a couple cheap jump scares like you’ll find in pretty much any horror film but there are also at least a few instances of some actually spooky shots. They use the Whaley ghosts to good effect in most of the scenes where they show up. That being said, most of the deaths that happen are just as laugh-inducing as the dialogue. Which, again, I really want to give the makers of the movie the benefit of the doubt and say that those are all intentionally done that way. There’s no way an entire film could be this consistently amusing without it being on purpose.
I give the movie a 2 out of 5 as a horror movie but a 3.5 out of 5 as a comedy.
Favorite thing in the movie: “Think you can just come break a man’s equipment. Damn ghost can SUCK. MY. DICK!”
Least favorite thing: The ending is some total cliché shit and it could have ended before the final scene.