“Between 1954 to 1976, nearly 600 children were voluntarily submitted for participation in a number of behavioral studies. These experimental facilities were privately funded and tucked away in secluded regions of the south.”
And so opens the next movie in the 2007 After Dark Horrrorfest Movie series. Crazy Eights is a ghost story set in a an abandoned institution which turns out to be eerily familiar to the six surviving friends.
James K. Jones
Horror, Ghost Story,
Horror, Ghosts, Mental Institutions, Memories, Forgotten Memories,
Six childhood friends are reunited at the funeral of one of their own – a seventh friend. What they find when settling his estate is a map that leads them to a hidden chest. Inside the chest are vaguely familiar objects – toys – and the skeletal remains of a little girl.
Jennifer Jones (Dina Meyer), Gina Conte (Traci Lords), Father Lyle Dey (George Newbern), Wayne Morrison(Dan DeLuca), Brent Sykes (Frank Whaley), and Beth Patterson (Gabrielle Anwar) then travel to an abandoned house searching for answers only to find a labyrinthine institution below.
After some exploring, they are unable to find their way out again. That’s when the accidents begin to happen. . . . one by one the friends begin to die . . . and strange vague memories become unearthed. They have all been in that institution before . . .
I think this movie tried to be better than it was. However, it was hampered by a confused plot – so murky that one of the reveals towards the end did not make sense to me. The characters were poorly developed and not one was sympathetic or engaging. Their pending doom did not fill me with dread or even suspense. A couple of other reveals at the end had no power, although they should have been the most memorable moments of the movie. It all hints at what this movie could have been.
The place where they falter is, I think, where they tried to create a ghost as creepy as Anna Morgan from The Ring — note the Horror Fest cover of the little girl wearing a blood and gore stained hospital gown with his head lowered and the hair falling in front of her face. The reason why this kind of ghost worked so well in The Ring is that we spend the entire movie knowing the ghost is there and learning about the monstrous little girl she’d been in life. In Crazy Eights they spend most of the time trying to get out of the institution and learn little or nothing about the ghost.
This movie was bland. You’ll want to see it if you’re watching the After Dark Horrrorfest Movie series and are a completest, or if you’re looking for a horror movie that won’t be too frightening for your date. Otherwise keep looking.
If found something to enjoy in Crazy Eights you might want to try a smarter, scarier asian ghost movie Ringu, or the American version The Ring.
You can order this and other After Dark Horrorfest movies through the Heights Library web catalog or order by phone by calling the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.