Manor, The. Weakened Protagonist, Plot Crumbles Structure
Manor, The Film Details.
Director: Jonathon Schermerhorn
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Release Format: DVD, VOD
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 90 min
Social Networking: Facebook
“The Manor,” is the macabre tale of mental patient, Amy Hunter (Christina Robinson) and the horrific events that follow her release from Psychiatrist, Dr. Tryvniak (Rachel True). Amy’s mother, Jane (Tanja Melendez Lynch) feels it best to immerse her daughter in the warm, family atmosphere of Anders Manor, inviting Amy’s long lost family (Eric Lutes, Tandy Tugwell, Danielle Gulden, Michael Zuccola) to join them at the manor. The Manor, however, has deeper plans for the Hunter Family, as gatecrashers and cultists (Sully Erna, Kevin Nash, Mike Bennett) arrive as the nefarious and ancient demonic force, Aka-Mana (David Tessier) goes to work, in short order, to sew madness and reap blood.
The Manor has a bold premise infusing psychological Horror with supernatural components. This revelation was cited after reading the synopsis a practice I reserve accompanying the viewing of the film. Theses overviews range from two to four sentences and give a basic description of what the audience will expect in the production. Consider a synopsis to be the excerpt found on the back of a paperback. Are paperbacks still relevant in today’s digital age? Back to this opener.
The Manor has significance, on paper. It didn’t take long, the opening ACT in fact, when story structure collapsed. Psychology and the supernatural, these are subjects that should garner a provocative eye opener with audiences. Is it a trick of the mind or are unknown forces at play in the narrative? These questions are up for the viewer to establish.
What went awry with The Manor? Let’s start with the cinematography. The camera and the form in which Director Jonathon Schermerhorn painted the visual detail was not fluid. With that said, neither was the variety of angles used. It was noticeable that most of the shots were handheld or the tracking was not leveled correctly. The lighting also had a not so attractive trait. The problematic areas divided between the subject being lit too harsh or the stage didn’t have color accents to convey drama.
With the narrative, it was tough to take this film seriously. The presentation at first felt intellectual but humor and campiness soon took over. For the viewer, it becomes troublesome to assimilate the evolving story or lack thereof. The central character takes a backseat while secondary and irrelevant nonsense takes form. Further hindering this presentation in Horror cinema are the performances. With a B-Movie style of acting coupled with less than stellar dialogue, The Manor becomes a dull ninety-minute sitting. I would wish to ask the writing team, all four members the following; In what state, country, region do persons engage with such over the top dialogue? Why not emphasise the protagonist? There is no sense of realism here and it is disappointing.
The writing team attempts to invest or allude to MK Ultra mind control programming. References to chess, in which the checkered board on the board symbolizes duality. Duality refers to a person exhibiting two or commonly referenced as an alter. This is a common factor with victims of mind control. A reference to the monarch butterfly and trauma therapy are also evidence to of the controversial topic. I would have preferred a gloomier mood and a priority on the psychological deterioration of the main character. The Manor instead passes into cartoonish tone and character. Is The Manor redefining or original? The script would be a stronger candidate in these areas. Yet, the translation of the script to screen, it suffered.
The Manor may do well for audiences that appreciate B-Movie Horror. The antagonist and its make-up effects were not defining. A demonic creature this is not. The twist in ACT III is well worth the wait after enduring basic filmmaking at its finest. As a former pro-wrestling enthusiast it was a pleasure to see Kevin Nash progress with his acting career. Nash’s cameo in The Manor was a pleasure to find.