Written by: Greigh Johanson

I find it very difficult to speak about this fact, but Chad & Max Smith's debutfilm Hannah House is an arthouse film made in the style of a silent film from the early 1900s. Or maybe not, but it's supplemented with old white on black, and with words that fill the screen after the way their lips sync.

Usually I like arthouse films, but Hannah House doesn't meet some of my simple requirements. The digitized atmosphere was just too clear and grainy and the flickering picture just made me tired. The film is seventy-nine minutes long, but had done better as a short film. It's boring and uneventful and becomes very flat after a while. The technical idyll is far from being approved and it clearly shows that job with style and effects are much more important than its document and content.

The young and pregnant Anna and her husband Jobe receive a letter from Anna's cousins ​​in Nebraska. They offer them to move there and take over an abandoned farm at no cost. Once there, Anna soon realize that not everything is good. She's haunted by visions and hear unexplained noises. When Anna finally hear the recording of a tortured woman, she gets no help from her husband Jobe. He starts drinking and spend most of the time to scold his wife. The longer the pregnancy progresses, the worse the situation gets for Anna. It's becoming increasingly clear that her cousins ​​haven't told the whole truth about the house. What did really happened with the farm's previous owner? Why did they moved away from his home and left everything? Where did they go? Or is it that they never went away?

It's evident that the film has its own style, but more than half of its illusions is animated in a program that leads me to think on Windows Movie Maker and it definitely destroys much of the film's starting point. Perhaps it's a bad budget, but believe me, it's also about pure laziness. They shouldn't have to add this digitization of a film that will have a feeling that played out in the early 1900s.

It's said that Hannah House is based on actual events, but if so I wonder which kind of acid was involved to successfully manages to achieve these hallucinations? Maybe they drank too much of the good whiskey? I'm actually too disinterested to investigate this phenomenon. But if you are of wider interest and like an explanation then you might find your answer on the extras that come with the DVD released by Dark Entertainment.

Hannah House didn't appealed to me at all, I was most annoyed. Some parts were unique on its own terms, but I would never watch this kind of mud again. If you generally like arthouse films, then there are much better titles to look for. Hannah House is nevertheless a matter of taste, you might manage to get a different picture of the film as opposed to what I got, so I don't really escape from recommending it. See it at your own risk!

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Directed by: Chad Smith, Max Smith
Written by: Chad Smith
Produced by: Chad Smith, Max Smith
Cinematography by: Chad Smith
Editing by: Chad Smith
Special Effects by: Aaron Sloan, Chad Smith
Music by: Steve Millin, Brandon Vaccaro
Cast: Summer Sawyer, Steve Millin, Dave Mrkvicka, Cecilia Johnson, Max Smith, Duane Richardson, Dea Webb, Chelsea Graham, Julia Bruning
Year: 2002
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: B&W
Runtime: 1h 18min

Distributor: Monkey Angel Studios/ Bifrost Distribution