August 8, 2016 The Hoarder (Movie Review)
Since the end of her time on the successful Teen Drama series The O.C., Mischa Barton (The Sixth Sense 1999, Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Grave Yard 2015) has made a name for herself in the Horror genre. That being said, Barton stars as main character Ella in 2015 Horror flick The Hoarder. Written by James Handel (The Last Horror Movie 2003, The Brunchers 2013) and Matt Winn (January 2nd 2006, The Brunchers 2013), who also directed, and The Hoarder saw DVD release as of April 5, 2016 via Image Entertainment.
Taking place in modern times, The Hoarder begins after a series of relationships end in unfaithfulness as Ella (Barton) drags her best friend, Molly (Emily Atack: Unforgivable 2014, The Inbetweeners TV series), to her fiance Brad’s (Ed Cooper Clarke: Panic 2014, Downton Abbey TV series) storage unit in order to find his diary and see if he is cheating on her. When the pair arrive, they meet strange, Storage Manager Stephen, (Andrew Buckley: Borgia TV series, Bunnytown TV series). He allows them to go through despite it not being Ella’s, so the pair head to Brad’s storage unit. Along the way, Molly and Ella are separated and Molly goes missing. Initially Ella believes she will find her soon, however, it does not turn out to be easy.
Ella searches the entire facility for Molly, and in the progress meets others doing the same thing, Hippie Willow (Valene Kane: Victor Frankenstein 2015, The Fall TV series), divorcing couple Sarah (Charlotte Salt: Bedlam TV series, The Musketeers TV series) and Ian (John Sackville: The Wedding Date 2005, House of Anubis TV series), Rashid (Richard Sumitro: Heros and Villians 2006, Citizen Khan TV series); who lives in his unit, Detective Vince (Robert Knepper: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 2015, iZombie TV series), Jeffrey (Philip Philmar: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005, Jack the Giant Slayer 2013), and Wayne (Jamie Bacon: Making it 2015, We Are Happy 2015). All of whom have their own reasons for being at the unit late at night.
As the group continues to bump into each other, rather than Molly, Ella finds puddles of blood. She tells the others, who do not believe her to begin with, but once they too go missing, one by one, they are forced to band together, with Vince in charge, to find out what is going on. The appearance of a strange killing creature pushes the group to desperately find a way out of the storage unit they are now locked in. The escalation in their situation strips back social niceties and reveals each of their dark sides and motivations, only complicating their tenuous hold on life. The night draws on and it becomes unclear who will make it out of there alive.
Not unlike 2012’s Storage 24, The Hoarder throws a group of mix-matched people into a locked down building and throws in a serial killer. It is an edge of your seat watch, with plenty of twists and turns. The cinematography of Eben Bolter (Road Games 2015, Chicken 2015), keeps face and sets a dark eerie atmosphere. The combination of new and experienced actors, in particularly Knepper, balances out the general shakiness and helps propels them through each scene. There are a couple of detracting elements, such as the shaky acting and dialogue, and the relative number of cliched movie moments. It has been done before and perhaps better, however, that does not detract from the overall workability of the storyline. That in mind, while it is not spectacular, The Hoarder is a decent watch. CrypticRock.com gives The Hoarder 3 out of 5 stars.