Since my Glorious Spouse and I have moved into a charming new home, built in in the late 1940’s, I have been waiting for ghosts to appear. I’ve left doors open to suspiciously creak close. I’ve put cans on the kitchen counter, prime for eerie stacking. I’ve even opened the lid to the piano for some other-worldly plinks and plunks at midnight to cry out to, “W-who’s there?”

Nothing.

Not even a little ghost fart to cast doubt upon or question our very role in the universe. Nada.

So, I looked for a spooky movie that maybe could drum up some business. Maybe the ghosts needed some motivation, or a how-to type guide. Maybe they just needed some inspiration…

The movie I found was Restoration (2016). The movie I probably should have watched was Restoration…the 1995 version with Sam Neill and RDJ playing fancy-pants kings and stuff. Oh well, onto….

She’s okay, she’s just a little crispy, she can walk it off.

The Plot:

Moving to a new town to complete her residency, a new doctor and her husband find a charming home they decide to renovate. During its restoration, they find an old teddy bear behind the walls that holds secrets within it. Secrets to the haunting within the house…

Also, they have obnoxious neighbors.

You can tell by the beard, Hawaiian shirt, AND glasses.

Thoughts:

Oof. Just…not great. The most interesting line in the film was how the previous owner had 400 teddy bears in the house when they bought it, so there’s still teddy bears all around (to the point they have a teddy bear fight). But seriously….

And they totally won’t come to life and eat you…

The leads tried to bring something to it, but just had really weak chemistry, and I think some of the lines were improvised…but not terrifically done. Honestly, the asshole neighbors were the most engaging and fun to watch, but even then, it wasn’t much they had to work with, which was sad because Zack Ward (aka asshole neighbor) was the director.

Our leads…

The most frustrating part is that the house and its restoration had very little to do with the plot, even to the point I had forgotten about the latter until the climax was in the basement and there were tarps all around and I was like, “Oh, yeeeah. That’s a thing in this movie.”

Also, let’s talk about the CGI…

Or not, I think this says a lot by itself.

One last bone to pick…the teddy bear itself. Not creepy enough, nor moldy enough. If I find a gross old teddy in my walls from the 70’s, make it worth my time. Fill that sucker up with used spider sacs, clotted mold, and crusty mouse urine. Give it a seriously messed up, stained and soiled face to haunt my dreams.

Looks like he just went behind the couch for a while; just toss him in the washer.

And I thought it was an odd choice that the leads decided to keep wall-bear, like, always within eye-shot or on the counter like a good luck charm. It’s probably full of asbestos and asthma-attacking gremlins – throw that sucker out! The lead is a doctor, she should have better common sense or know how to defeat the asthma monsters (I think that’s how that works).

This is after they cut his chest open, too…Monsters

Brain Roll Juice:

Ahhhhheeehhhhh, I didn’t really have any juice for my brain to roll in. It was kind of messy, all the way around. Kudos for the actors trying to do something with it.

Besides poke at it with a big knife…

The story and the twist were mediocre and convoluted at best. It almost seemed like they had one idea and then started running with another, kind of like a directorial exquisite corpse – throwing something in and hoping it would stick. Unfortunately, nothing really did, except for the 400 teddy bears. I wanted to see the real estate agent taking them through “the bear house”. I wanted to see every awkward grimace of looking at each and every bear in the face…until they came upon The One.

Bottom-line:

The ghosts were still not inspired. Neither was I. Unfortunately, I would say it’s not worth even 300 teddy bears!

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)
About the Author

When not howling Tina Turner classics with Glorious Spouse under the hazy Detroit moon, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is HauntedMTL's dubious Voice of Reason. Aside from writing on HauntedMTL, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, runs the show on 'The Combobox', and is composer to some of HauntedMTL's podcast themes. They've also have contributed to other websites such as Gayly Dreadful's Pride 2020 and Nightmarish Conjurings.

View Articles