Campton Manor Poster

Campton Manor (2024) Review

Back in 1922 Campton Manor was the scene of an unexplained mass death, twenty-eight guests at a New Year’s party died of heart attacks at the same time. There was no trace of poison, and the case was never solved. The mansion has, needless to say, sat empty ever since.

Decades later, the film seems to be set in the 1950s, Teddy (Shawn Roberts, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Here for Blood) is a detective and a horror novelist. He’s helped in both of these careers by his ability to see, and talk to, the dead. Right now he’s more concerned with Jack (Jason London, Showdown at Area 51, Hunt Club). Despite his secretary’s best efforts, Jack keeps turning up in his office talking about Campton Manor, in fact he’s rather insistent that Teddy investigate it.

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After getting an invitation to that fateful party, Ted thinks Jack sent it, the two of them drive up and finding a door conveniently unlocked, they begin exploring the mansion. Then Teddy goes from walking through empty, dark rooms to being in a brightly lit study talking to the party’s host Lawrence Campton (Kenneth Welsh, Awakening the Zodiac, The Void) who not only knows who he is, but was expecting him.

Writer Stephen Wallis (Love, Guns & Christmas, The Wicked Within) and director Cat Hostick (Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life, A Date with Danger) have set out to create a ghost story that plays out like a mystery. Ted must not only find out what happened in 1922, he has to figure out why everyone seems to know him, and just what is Jack’s real interest in what happened. Or if he’s one of the living or the dead for that matter.

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It’s in the last half hour that the plot starts to reveal itself and the viewers gets an idea of just what is going on. Unfortunately, more than a few of them will have figured out at least some of it before then. The basic revelations are fairly obvious, but there are a few twists that help keep some of the details hidden, so while you might see some of it coming, there are still a few details that should surprise you.

Helping this along is Campton Manor’s small but talented cast. The three leads, especially the late Kenneth Welsh, do a lot to keep things interesting during some of the earlier and slower moments. Most of the other roles are fairly small, even that of Zoe (Genevieve DeGraves, Slasher, Dark Forest) whose connections to more than one of the guests is pivotal to the plot. She and Julian Richings (Anything for Jackson, Hall), who’s wasted in a throwaway role as a servant, manage to stand out despite their lack of screen time.

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Also credit cinematographer Russ De Jong (Walking Supply, Relax, I’m from the Future) for doing a great job with the film’s main set, whether we’re seeing Campton Manor in a dark and deserted state or brightly lit and occupied with party goers. He’s come a long way since he got his start in features with Live Evil. Composer Sean Croley (Death Valley, Safety First) adds an effective and unobtrusive score and costume designer Nola Chaters (The Boys, Crimson Peak) also deserves a mention for helping to make the film look period authentic.

If you don’t mind its somewhat slow pace and lack of action and effects, Campton Manor is a decent ghost story that occasionally echoes The Shining and Shutter Island and is bolstered by a good cast.

Glass House Distribution will release Campton Manor to Digital Platforms on May 7th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more details.

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