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Butcher House (2006)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Butcher House (2006) BUTCHER HOUSE is a well produced, effectively creepy horror movie that's best described as FRIDAY THE 13th meets SAW.

In the mid 1960's at Kingston Butchery a worker by the name of Sam Gaines becomes possessed by an ancient Aztec spirit and kills a slew of his co-workers, including two of the owner's sons. The owner, Arthur Kingston, immediately closes the building. He does this because he has sealed the insane killer in a hidden room down in the basement.

Forty years later the building is sold to a guy named Stan Williams, who intends to convert the place into condos. He sends his son Tyler, and five of his son's friends, to inventory the place and see what's still there that needs to be moved out. Of course, one of the teenagers inadvertently unleashes the evil spirit of The Butcher, who starts slaying them one by one. James Kingston, the surviving son of Arthur, finds out that the building has been sold and tries to warn the new owner, who thinks he's crazy. So he goes to the building and finds himself in the midst of the supernatural violence.

There are a few plot-holes and unexplained things, such as if there is no electricity in the building (they have to find the electric box at the beginning of the movie to turn on the lights) then how does the electric powered elevator still work? And what happened to the ancient Aztec spirit? It's shown at the beginning and briefly mentioned later, but then is forgotten, as the focus is on The Butcher himself. The director (who also co-scripted) should have either elaborated on this aspect or eliminated it entirely, as it was in the back of my mind the entire time I was watching the film.

The things I liked best about BUTCHER HOUSE are the the ways in which the killer gets his victims and how the location itself is a major "character". The victims become marked with a strange sign on their hand, then are able to see him while the others can't. For example, when he kills one of them we see him doing the act but the others simply see this invisible force throwing around their friend. The editing makes this quite effective. The Butcher can also possess his victims and make them go after the others, which is another great twist. As I was watching the movie it reminded me of the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS flicks, as it has that similar depressing, "There is no escape" feel to it. I was also impressed at how much the set/location added to the movie, particularly the dankness and the effective use of those smoke machines. It's also amazing how much those HD cameras make the movie appear as if shot in 35mm.

BUTCHER HOUSE, although reminiscent of at least a dozen other slasher movies, does present some original ideas and presents a truly nasty villain. Recommended.

Directed by Christopher Hutson

Official Website: www.butcherhouse.com

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Rating: 7.9 out of 10.0 - 8 votes cast total
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