A writer desperate for their next hit novel is locked in a haunted house for inspiration. We’ve seen that a few times. Director Gregory Lamberson (Johnny Gruesome, Slime City) has adapted a novel, Widow’s Point by Richard and Billy Chizmar, that gives us a bit of a variation on the theme. Instead of the usual creepy mansion or rural cabin, it’s a haunted lighthouse.
Thomas Livingston (Craig Sheffer, Nightbreed, Hellraiser: Inferno) writes about the supernatural. He used to hit the bestseller list, now he needs to find his way back to the charts. He’s managed to get permission to spend a weekend in the Widow’s Point Lighthouse. In the house at least, the light tower is strictly off-limits. And, he’ll be locked in until Mr. Parker (Michael Thurber, Flesh For the Inferno, Killer Rack) comes back on Monday.
His publicist Rosa (KateLynn E. Newberry, The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge) is watching the monitor for ghosts. Like Thomas though, she seems to miss the ones behind her.
By incorporating tales from the building’s past with Thomas’s experiences, Widow’s Point avoids loads of expository dialogue. And it avoids the problems of having the film focus on one person for large stretches of time. The stories include an actress being driven to suicide, a man driven to kill an entire family and excerpts from the journal of one of his victims detailing the ghostly events leading up to her death.
We also get the expected modern-day happenings. Thomas’s food suddenly becomes maggot-infested, tech gear malfunctions and a staircase seems to become never-ending. There’s even a thunderstorm. Widow’s Point does a nice job of handling these while not feeling generic. And it does end up going in an unexpected direction, one that I liked and wished had been a bigger part of the plot.
Sheffer does a solid job as Livingstone. He’s on camera by himself a lot of the time and he sells the character’s crumbling mental state well. Right down to his meltdown towards the end. The rest of the cast is good in fairly small roles. The late Michael O’Hear (Lycanimator, The Horrific Evil Monsters) makes a brief appearance, as does one of the novel’s authors, Billy Chizmar.
An enjoyable, if a bit low-key, ghost story Widow’s Point will be available September 1st on DVD and Digital via 101 Films. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information. I toured the lighthouse the film was shot in when I lived in Buffalo. It’s a fun tour, you can check out their website for times and prices.