A nifty spin on haunted house clichés, The Tour brings some fresh talent onto the UK horror scene in the shape of writer/director pair Alex Mathieson and Damon Rickard.

Looking incredibly polished and with a gloss that really feels cinematic in scope, the 15-minute short takes a classic British staple – the spooky gothic mansion – but brings it screeching right up to date.

The film is also aided tremendously by having tempted scream queens Jessica Cameron and Heather Dorff into taking on ‘women in peril’ duties, and just having them on screen adds another layer to a film that was already heading in the right direction to begin with.

The set-up is a simple one – Cameron and Dorff play American tourists, on a spooky tour of Darkmoor Manor, led by smooth operator Tom (Tom Gordon).

The actual manor, which supposedly has a blood-soaked history, is off limits to guests, but, a quick drink and the offer of some rumpy-pumpy later, and the three are heading for a poke around (in the dark of course).

Will something go bump in the night? Does the house really have a secret? Will anyone make it back out alive?

To say any more would be to give too much away, and Mathieson and Rickard keep a sure hand on proceedings.

The performances are strong all round, and the direction is excellent, with shadows and suggestion used to supreme effect.

In fact, if there is any problem, it’s that the film feels rushed – certainly in terms of the climax, which is all slam-bang after a deliberate build-up.

But that in itself is refreshing, with short films often a decent idea stretched to breaking point.

That is most definitely not the case with The Tour though – a fright flick that pretty much delivers on every level, and certainly marks out Mathieson and Rickard as talents to keep an eye on.

Short Film Review: The Tour
4.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle