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September 27, 2013

Movie Review: The Cemetery (2012, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley

It seems like lightning does strike twice once in a while. When you team up Adam Ahlbrandt & Natalie Jean you automatically have a winner. They are a winning combo indeed. Hot off the success of the gory slasher gem Cross Bearer. The folks at Adversary Films reunite for a new tale of terror. This time tackling a film which deals with demonic possession and a bunch of sexed up Ghost Hunters getting offed in various fun forms of slaughter.

While Cross Bearer was a fun but bleak slasher picture, The Cemetery is the polar opposite. Yes you still get buckets of blood, hot tattooed women and some nice camera work. But this time around you get a film that has it's tongue placed firmly in it's gory cheek. The film know what they are making and that they are treading on familiar ground. But they have a lot of fun and the sheer creative energy and enthusiastic performances elevate the film.

The film starts off in the late 16th century in Pennsylvania. A lot of crazy shit is going down, mainly priests performing many bloody exorcisms on countless people. This is the kind and gentle Father Karris Exorcist style exorcism. This is more like the bodily dismemberment kind of exorcism. So within the first minute we are treated to all sorts of bloody mayhem.

We then cut to present day Pennsylvania were we are introduced to a group of five Ghost Hunters. They consist of Bill (J.D. Brown), Andrea (Natalie Jean), Tim (Adam Huss), Mike (Tim Cronin) & last but not least the lovely Sandra (Tabetha Ray) who's the groups medium. They decide to head off into the woods with a church record to find the location were all the nastiness went down. Things soon as they always do spiral out of control as people start getting possessed one by one...

This is a film that is easy to recommend to horror films. Cross Bearer maybe was a bit bleak for your causal horror fan. But The Cemetery is a film that easily caters to the masses without loosing it's balls. First off if your a fan of Evil Dead then you will love this flick, if you dig Lamberto Bava's "Demons" you will dig this flick. Hell if you enjoy attractive women then you will dig this. Gore hounds will be pleased because when the blood starts flowing it doesn't stop.

The film runs at a brisk 85 minutes but Ahlbrandt is still able to develop the characters enough so we know who to root for and who we want to bite the dust.  For the most part all the characters are likeable and funny. The character of Tim was a major D-bag but that was the point. The true star of the flick is... (surprise) Natalie Jean. No I'm not playing favorites, she was solid in Cross Bearer and even better here. In Cross Bearer she was tasked with playing a very troubled introverted character. This time she's allowed to let her freak flag fly so to speak. When she get's possessed you can tell she's having a blast. Easily the most entertaining demon/possessed person since Ellen Sandweiss as Cheryl from the original Evil Dead.

Tim Cronin was equally fun to watch as the loveable screw up of the group. He brought the comic relief in full force and his character can't catch a break in the film. Tabetha Ray is the one carrying around the dramatic weight on her back this time around. She does more then a commendable job, very grounded performance.

The special effects deserve special mention, as you can see above the demon make up is both cool and creepy. No one makes it out of this film without a few battle scares, countless heads are removed, axes are firmly planted into peoples faces and people are impaled with all sorts of objects.

This time around it looks like Adam Ahlbrandt possibly had a bigger crew and budget to work with compared to Cross Bearer. He puts the extra man power to good use. Visually the flick looks terrific, even better then Cross Bearer. The daylight scenes are crystal clear and the woods of Pensulvania look appropriately lush. Night sequences are equally well done, instead of going with the typical "blue" nights. They decided to go with the more natural moonlit white nights. Also I didn't detect any digital noise or crush during the darker sequences. Which usually plague most shot on digital Indie films.

I had a blast with this film, it firmly cements Adam Ahlbrandt as a force to be reckoned with and one of the more exciting young talents in the biz. Natalie Jean delivers yet another solid performance that you will remember for sometime. The gal is a scream queen, it's official.. The rest of the cast and crew should be very proud of their work on this picture. Job well done!

Currently The Cemetery is playing various film festivals, so be on the look out! For more information hit up the official Facebook page-

If you haven't guessed this film comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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