Things I now know about West Virginia:
- Lots of Mines of one type or another
- Brad Dourif (born in Huntington, WV; son of a paint and dye factory owner)
- Large numbers of hardscrabble miners unaccountably voted for sleek, privileged East-Coaster John F Kennedy rather than for Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Democratic Party Primary. With NO SUGGESTION of corruption or anything.
- The Blue Ridge Mountains of (cf: Lonesome Pine, The; On The Trail Of)
- It contains the literal gate to Hell.
What we've got is a remake of Legend of Hell House, with the idiots going to an obviously haunted location at the behest of sinister wealthy person, with vaguely debunk-y notions, then are harshly disabused of them as BAD THINGS commence to happen. Except here we have two competing groups of idiots (one not-Ghosthunters 'skeptic' lot with their cute little EMF meters and their leader with a TRAGIC BACKSTORY, and one set of deliverence-ministerers led by a floppy-haired humourless dick and his floaty Deanna-Troi-lite 'psychic'), rather than one.
Hell House's queasy sexuality has been purged, and replaced here with a rather toothless 'yay Jesus' small-r religious subtext. Since the TRAGIC BACKSTORY involved a dead sister resulting in a LOSS OF FAITH which has driven debunker-boy away from the big JC and into the soiled arms of rationality, and which he must OVERCOME in order to RECONNECT WITH HIS FAITH, to have the spiritual strength to fling a crucifix, drive off the one demon rather boredly cavorting in the gateway, like a stripper covering someone else's Wednesday afternoon shift and seal the cheap-CG Hellgate. Clearly a victory for the angels... I guess...? Though not for Mr Sinisterwealthyperson from the beginning, who was rather hoping they'd disprove the existence of Hell, since he's dying, and is sure to be headed there for his many sins in life; the last shot of the film is him viewing the idiots' conclusions, and weeping profusely. Or perhaps he was PZ Myers, and he'd just finished reading the script.
The Lovefilm thumbnail and DVD cover is a filthy. filthy lie, by the way; though there is some footage shot from the cameras the idiots bring in with them, this is NOT by any definition a 'Found Footage' film. Sufferers from motion sickness can rest easy; as for the rest of us...
After all this...THIS, I decided to watch a Miramax film. No, really! Come back later, and see.