Johnny Petrie learns on his 18th birthday that he was adopted after inheriting a farm in Maine. Eager to start a new life, Johnny leaves home so he can began afresh in this “new” dwelling. However, Johnny soon discovers that the farm, which has been abandoned for eighteen years since his natural family died, harbors a horrifying history about the deaths of said natural family.
Genre : Horror
Bill Moseley : Sheriff Depford
Jesse James : Johnny Petrie
Magda Apanowicz : Emma
A movie that ends up on my list of “mediocre but not quite good” horror movies. Things started very promising. The apostate priest who, cause of a strange reason, kills his whole family. His wife and two older children are killed in an explicit way. Of course one member of the family remains unharmed. The newborn Brian was hidden by his older brother in a drawer. Thus the ritual can not be completed and the priest nails his family on a cross and eventually commits suicide. What the actual ritual is, isn’t really clear in this film. A bit of a weird idea of the priest to connect Christianity to a primitive religion of Egypt.
The start wasn’t that bad. The way the priest slaughters his family, gave me the impression that it would be an acceptable horror movie. I could predict that in the distant future the saved son would return to his home as a teenager and would be confronted with his mysterious past. The introduction of Brian and his kind of weird mother pointed out it was clearly a low-budget film. Once the mother goes to the hospital and the boy, now called John Petrie, goes to the town where the house is for sale of which he’s the only heir, it gets a little better and even at times a little exciting. The cliché ingredients are again used such as ghosts appearing around the corner, creaking floors and doors that open by themselves. There were also moments when something appears behind someone and afterwards there is nothing anymore when that person turns around . It’s all in there, and after the umpteenth time you’re kind of bored of it. There’s only one commendable moment in the whole film as Brian stands next to his old crib.
Then there is the introduction of Emma. A girl that came from i-don’t-know-where and moved into the house, because it was already empty for some time. She wasn’t very convincing and changed spontaneously from an arrogant kid to a loving and seducing teen girl. They are complete strangers for each other, but suddenly it seems as if they know each other for years. Together they come to the incoherent and incomprehensible discovery what the priest was trying to achieve and something is brought up as the “fifth nail”. Then there’s a senior police officer who retired after the incident who’s still looking for the truth. They will organize a seance to find the solution.
And from here on it just get worse. The ghosts look abominable and the effects look very outdated. When victims return as living dead and want to finish the unfinished task, it really starts to look completely amateurish. In particular how the kids save themselves in the final scene. That looked like a really old 70’s horror movie.
“Dead souls” is a mixture of all sorts of horror genres with a strong start, but a historically bad ending