Campton Manor: Spooky Secrets

Campton Manor is a high-concept, low budget thriller mystery from director, Cat Hotstick. The film stars Shawn Robert’s as Teddy, a journalist and novelist who has made his claim to fame by being able to communicate and see the dead. Through the stories of the deceased, he has made a name for himself and now Teddy is on to his next big story, the deaths at Campton Manor. Spurred on by the interest of the late Jack (Jason London), Teddy looks into the family of Campton Manor including its patriarch, his wife, his mistress and her boyfriend. These characters are the key to understanding the deaths that happened back at a 1923 New Year’s party but the truth of what happened that night might alter Teddy’s life forever. Moreover, Jack’s seemingly innocent desire to understand the house may show that he is not who he says he is.

Low budget horror movies have thrived in the indie scene. This film valiantly attempts to take the setting and rules of a horror movie (haunted old mansion, dead people walking around) and applies it to a more psychological mystery film in the spirit of Memento, Knives Out and The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, while these films are brought to mind by the films atmosphere and story, the filmmaking and plot points fail to live up to them. 

The screenplay has some intriguing turning points but the film often feels like it’s adding filler to get to them and the scenes before the reveals feel like they could have used better dramatic tension. The cast does what they can with the minimal set decoration and is able to keep the film moving, despite some overwritten dialogue. Props to the location scouting team as they make their one location effective. The house fits the old, spooky mansion vibe and the story around it is able to subvert the usual tropes of a haunted house film. The makeup in some of the dead looks really well done and helps set up some of the most interesting scenes in the film. 

Overall, Campton Manor is not a film I can wholeheartedly recommend but those who are interested should check it out and see if the films twists and turns work for them.

Campton Manor is now available on VOD/Digital.

Leave a Reply