Blackburn (aka The Blackburn Asylum)
Written by Lauro Chartrand and Nastasha Baron
Directed & Produced by Lauro Chartrand, Nastasha Baron & John Sereda
August 2nd, 2016 (USA)
Reviewed by A. Renee Hunt

Today’s review, Blackburn, is a horror movie based on actual events. Written by Nastasha Baron and Lauro Chartrand, the movie is sure to cause either one of two reactions: excitement or extreme disappointment. Sadly for me, it was the latter, but let me share exactly why…

Blackburn is about a carful of teens headed to a cabin, set deep in the woods of Alaska, for break. Unfortunately, their trip comes to a halt when a landslide, along with a forest fire, prevent them from reaching their destination. Instead, they make a decision that places them in the gravest of danger, and no way to get home.

Let me first say, this movie is definitely SyFy channel material. From the cheesy conversations to the engaging special effects, the movie entertained with the best of them. But, there are a ton of things that just didn’t work. I’m going to share about three. But first, the positives…

The movie had elements I enjoyed. The flashback scenes were, by far, the best! From the introduction, to its time-lapsed footage, I found appreciation in the effects and reasoning behind the haunting. That portion kept my attention, even if it didn’t quite make sense. I also liked the homage paid to other horror movies. I felt connected to various other pics, even if that wasn’t the movie’s intent. Titles like Wrong Turn and Texas Chainsaw Massacre immediately came to mind, but Blackburn had its own original feel.

Lastly, the characters were developed with a side story. Alas, it was weak, but I saw why it was added. Quickly I forgot its brief mentioning, but it came back later, allowing for a bit of understanding. Should you see the movie, you’ll know, but again, it didn’t make the movie.

Now the negatives of the movie are easily identified as well as downright insane! The movie held all the usual horror idiosyncrasies – a sexy blonde, at least one inappropriate sexual encounter, “Splitting Up to Cover More Ground!” and a jump-scare. But what it lacked was a great deal of was intelligence!

I’ve done some ignorant things as a teen, but [WARNING: small spoiler here] to sleep in an abandoned coalmine was never one of them! Not only were they warned about the location, but they also had a perfectly useful car! Okay, no more! I don’t want to give the movie away, but from beginning to end, there are choices made by people, in my opinion, who evidently didn’t graduate from high school! It was non-stop foolishness! I found myself calling out what was going to happen, right before it happened – they were that predictable! All of it left me feeling let down.

So Blackburn was entertaining, but nothing more. If this is truly based on actual events, I hope the teens involved learned a few, serious lessons. First off, stay away from Alaskan backwoods and two – if there’s both a forest fire and a rock slide? Your best bet is to go back home.

About A. Renee Hunt

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