Elizabeth Stanton (Anna Hoots) has grown up feeling guilty about her sister’s death. Her parents have also taken it upon themselves to try and find a way to explain how their daughter died and due to a family history, have blamed it on schizophrenia. This means that Elizabeth has been taking medication since she was a little girl, but since she started having disturbing dreams, she comes to think that her problems are more supernatural.
This is made even more evident when Elizabeth’s hallucinations start getting stronger, making her think that she may in fact be haunted.
Guilt is the latest feature by writer/director William Chaffin which takes on a lot of issues surrounding family and mental health and wraps them in a horror movie. Mental health is always a tricky subject to tackle as well, but thankfully the more realistic way that Elizabeth sees the world and her parents misguided decisions feel a little more realistic. Misdiagnoses do happen after all and it’s far better than saying a supernatural force is causing mental illness.
However, there is something charmingly amateurish about the whole production. It doesn’t do anything other than what bigger budget horror movies do, but that’s not to say that there are some issues.
Firstly, and perhaps more obviously there needs to be a better sound mixer. Having such a low budget production has its limitations of course, but there are scenes where either the dialogue is too quiet or the sound of distant traffic distracts from what’s going on in a scene. It’s not Birdemic levels of bad, but it’s noticeable.
Also, having a low budget movie of this nature does lead to problems because there’s an implication that the production is biting off more than it can chew. Although Anna Hoots does give a good performance in the lead, there’s no denying that some scenes where the demon strikes could have been handled with more weight and the cliches in the script do come thick and fast.
However, who among us can say that we don’t all enjoy a cheesy horror movie every now and then?
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