WIDOW’S POINT (2019)
Directed by Gregory Lamberson
Written by Gregory Lamberson (screenplay), from the book by Billy Chizmar & Richard Chizmar
Starring Craig Sheffer, KateLynn E. Newberry, Dominic Luongo, Kaelin Lamberson, John Renna, Richard Satterwhite, Michael Thurber, Willow Anwar, Kim Piazza, Paul McGinnis, Amy Hoffman, Billy Chizmar, Constance Caldwell, Bob Rusch, Sam Qualiana, Kyle Mecca, Michael O’Hear, Bill Brown, Alexander S. McBryde, Joe Blodgett, Bob Bozek, Matthew King, Craig Sabin
The director behind cult fave SLIME CITY, SLIME CITY MASSACRE, DRY BONES, and who could forget KILLER RACK, Gregory Lamberson is back with another low budget flick called WIDOW’S POINT. And this time he’s brought NIGHTBREED’s Craig Sheffer along to star in the spook fest.
A paranormal investigator in need of cash named Thomas (played by Sheffer) decides to spend the weekend locked inside a lighthouse with a haunted history. As a skeptic, he thinks this is going to be a piece of cake and a big payoff, but soon the lighthouse’s past comes back to haunt him big time and Thomas slowly loses his mind.
Lamberson definitely knows how to set up low budget scares and while they are nowhere near the effectiveness level as THE CONJURING or INSIDIOUS levels, they to come fast and mean in WIDOW’S POINT. Most of the scares occur not on blue screen, but in frame with the actors with them trying act as if they don’t notice them. Others are much more successful such as a ghost who slides across the floor on her back. This one worked really well and might be the best scare of the film. Lamberson keeps the pace moving so as not to let boredom set in and also knows how to work around a budget rather than highlight low fi chills that won’t work.
Though the scares are hit and miss, the acting is definitely something to see. Most of the cast are amateurs and it shows, while some like Thomas’ assistant Rosa (played by KateLynn E. Newberry) work quite well. Craig Sheffer has always been a sort of enigma to me. His star-powered performances in NIGHTBREED and SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL are things of the past, but every now and then he pops up in a film and does a decent job. His prominent brow-line always made me feel he makes for a much better bad guy/thug type than a hero, but he still takes these leading man roles and goes against that type. Here not only is he attempting to be a sympathetic hero, but also someone who is slowly going insane. This is a transition I don’t think Sheffer was able to accomplish but seeing him try is fascinating. When he finally goes loo-loo-koo-koo, he serves the ham up cooked to perfection and it falls into the so bad it’s good category. Sheffer’s hair has a whole other story as it is entering Corey Haim emulating Michael Jackson territory of bad. Cut the locks, quit trying to look young, and accept the age. I think Sheffer might get more roles that are more in his range if he does so.
Appreciators of bad cinema will want to seek this one out to see Sheffer trying to slide into madness, but I think they’ll be impressed with the amount and quality of solid scares WIDOW’S POINT ends up having.