Review By: Brian Gray
Director: Brian Higgins
Release Date: October 1, 2013 on video-on-demand
Synopsis: The historic Croke-Patterson Mansion in Denver, Colorado was long-rumored to be haunted by the cries of babies buried in the basement. The original owner built the Chateauesque-style home in 1891 and lived there for six months before falling victim to the Silver Crash of 1893. Ill fortune visited upon subsequent owners during the 120-year?long history of the house as they experienced otherworldly phenomena that included apparitions, whispering voices, peculiar odors, failed exorcisms and guard dogs jumping through windows to their death.
When architect Brian Higgins and partners purchase the home for renovation, they are skeptical of the home’s tragic past. But soon workers begin to experience sightings of ghostly children, unusual temperature changes and whispering voices. Workers fall ill and one team member dies while an unexplained fire threatens the project’s completion. Paranormal investigators are brought in and they identify several generations of spirits who remain trapped in the house.
Higgins had the foresight to begin filming, and after several hair?raising nights spent alone in the building he began to wonder if there was a reason why souls never checked out at the Croke?Patterson Mansion.
Our Thoughts: In a film that may otherwise be titled “This Old Haunted House,” Brian Higgins takes us inside the paranormal mysteries of the Croke-Patterson Mansion in Denver, Colorado as he is renovating it into a bed-and-breakfast. In this age of found-footage films popping up everywhere, I was on my guard throughout the film waiting for something clearly fabricated to appear. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was indeed a documentary.
This film will have a fairly divided consensus, I believe. It is not scary, nor does anything shocking happen in the film. However, it does a good job of relaying the history of the mansion as the renovation crews are tearing up the house. It would have been nice to have seen even more of the actual renovation, but we do get to see some of the happenings when a local news crew came out to cover the project and what happened when Higgins stayed in the house for an extended period of time. The film unfortunately takes a sharp left turn towards the end. The filmmakers discuss why they believe the house may be haunted and while providing some interesting details about art, literature, and the after-life, this segment feels strangely out of place in this film.
Probably one of the best features of this film is that this is a real place and you can actually go and stay there yourself! Anyone with an interest in staying in a haunted mansion can book a room at this beautifully renovated bed-and-breakfast! Overall, people who enjoy real-life paranormal investigations will enjoy this film, but it does not provide much for people looking for a horror movie.
For More Information: Catch the trailer and our preview here: http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/articles/62-horror-movies/8067-the-castle-project-now-available-on-dvd-vod-trailer-inside
About: Brian Gray is a staff journalist for ComicMonsters.com and HorrorNewsNetwork.net. Although usually only seen behind the camera, he occasionally puts it down to write a review. Stay up on all the latest news @HorrorNews.