Don't Look in the Basement 2

Don't Look in the Basement 2 ★★½

Decades after a brutal massacre left several patients dead at Stephens Sanitarium, a survivor of that event returns to the same rural psychiatric facility, which now goes by the name of the Green Park Clinic. The present-day staff and patients, all of whom are unaware of the building's nightmarish past, soon begin to act strangely. A new doctor at the clinic must fight to save himself and the others as he is faced with one gruesome death after another.

The 2015 horror sequel, Don't Look in the Basement 2, is a labor of love from director Tony Brownrigg, whose father, S.F. Brownrigg, helmed the original 1973 film. This comparably sleek feature lacks the drably rustic drive-in grindhouse feel of its predecessor, but the aura of the same Texas setting where the earlier movie was shot manages to elicit a dark charm all its own. Although the masses were not exactly tearing down the gates in anticipation of a follow-up to Don't Look in the Basement, the end result is a serviceably engaging effort that, while inferior to its source inspiration, should be of interest to the few but proud fans of the first film's legacy. The incorporation of supernatural story elements to the fold does no favors to this movie, but viewers are treated to a handful of genuinely unnerving visuals once the bloodshed starts.

Camilla Carr, who appeared in the original film as a patient who believes that her plastic doll is a real baby, is a welcome presence here as the strict no-nonsense administrator of the updated institution. Willie Minor (JFK, Born on the Fourth of July) plays the survivor of the past killing spree with admirably faithful attention to the mannerisms of the original actor for the character. Andrew Sensenig, who has starred in contemporary television shows like Daredevil and Mindhunter, is charismatic as our overwhelmed protagonist who serves as the perspective of the audience. Arianne Martin (The Haunting of Hill House) is memorable as one of the other doctors. Finally, actors Jim O'Rear and Scott Tepperman shine as orderlies who are drawn into the eerie fold.

This is a movie that I likely would not have bothered to see had it not been included on a double feature disc with its predecessor, but it is entertaining enough in its own right to be worth my while.

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