Short Movie Review: “The Tour” Deserves Feature-Length Treatment


Review by James McDonald

Darkmoor Manor is England’s most haunted house, its doors closed to the public. It is now just part of a tour which helps attracts visitors to a struggling town. That is until the tour guide, trying to impress two attractive American visitors promises to get them inside.


Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know the ending of the movie.

“The Tour” is a short movie that has enough of a back-story and an interesting premise that it could very easily be turned into a feature-length horror film and one that I would look forward to seeing. Two young American girls, Morgan (Jessica Cameron) and Cassie (Heather Dorff), are traveling around Europe when they stop off in Darkmoor, a small town that boasts Darkmoor Manor, seemingly the most haunted house in all of England. While there, they take the compulsory haunted tour which is led by the handsome Tom (Tom Gordon), who discloses to the small group everything about the house, including its paranormal and supernatural history. Afterwards, Morgan and Cassie, both very skeptical, inquire into the credibility of Tom’s story and he informs them that if they stick around, he will take them on a personal tour that evening.

As darkness falls, the trio make their way to the house where before they enter, Tom reminds them that everything he told them on the tour about the house, is legitimate. They enter and of course, it is old and creaky but very quickly, both girls start seeing faces in the dark and begin freaking out. Tom tries to calm them but then he disappears and only his screams are left echoing throughout the house. Out of the shadows, a masked man appears and chases after Cassie and stabs her to death while Morgan manages to escape out the front door. She meets Tom who appears to be injured but he kills her quickly and we realize that in order for the old, haunted house to keep the small town in business, young visitors must occasionally disappear, supposedly in connection with the old house.

But as Tom and his masked buddy are hiding the bodies in the basement, Tom looks up to see a terrifying spectral face behind his friend and after years of his exaggerated stories about unexplained fires and ghostly apparitions, both men finally get their chance to be inducted into the house’s sordid history. The movie overall, is extremely well shot with immaculate, crisp images and a good instrumental score. All three lead actors shine in their respective roles and directors Alex Mathieson and Damon Rickard do an exceptional job in creating a legitimately creepy atmosphere in under fifteen minutes. Here’s hoping they get to turn it into a full-length movie. Highly recommended.

Will have its U.S. premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado on October 11th


James McDonald
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