Rebecca “Becca” Riley is a young woman who was blinded in a car accident. The accident happened due to her boyfriend driving under the influence, and naturally their relationship has become quite strained. One day, Becca is contacted by an estate agent in Albania, telling her that she’s inherited a castle from her biological mother Lavinia Whateley. Becca, of course, is very exited about having inherited a castle, and while her boyfriend wants her to quickly sell the castle, Becca wants to learn more about her biological mother once she’s visiting the place. Upon arriving there, she starts hearing strange sounds and has visions, and her relationship with her boyfriend becomes even more strained when he just decided to invite four of his friends to come along without asking her about it first. One of these “friends” being a woman he’s been flirting with, as if the a-hole alert wasn’t already strong enough with this character. Among the group is also The Professor, who has been studying the occult and is the only person to actually believe Becca when she tells him about her experiences. Since she has had no contact with her mother and knows nothing about her or the castle she’s just inherited, she is of course also oblivious to what happens to live there…
Castle Freak is a 2020 American horror film directed by Tate Steinsiek, and is some kind of remake/reboot of the 1995 Stuart Gordon film by the same name, which are both loose adaptions of the Lovecraft story The Outsider. With emphasis on the word “loose”. While the first movie barely has anything to do with the Lovecraft story, this movie has a lot of references to all kinds of Lovecraftian stuff. As for the similarities, both are pure B-shlock entertainment, but the first one focused more on atmosphere and had a certain modest 90’s horror romp charm, while this remake adds more gore, tits and Lovecraft references. We get to know that one of the elder gods, Yog-Sothoth, is supposed to be summoned, something that was never any part at all of the original movie.
This remake of Castle Freak is a very different freak than the first movie, in many ways. I wouldn’t really recommend it just because of the Lovecraft references, as they honestly feel somewhat forced…one of the elder gods is supposed to be summoned, there’s a character which has attended the Miskatonic Universtity, the Necronomicon suddenly pops into their hands, Becca’s mother was named Lavinia…yeesh, those Lovecraftian tentacles are all over the place. Those who liked the original from 1995 will find that this one is very different, and this will likely be off-putting for some. Still, the movie offers some decent cinematography, locations and production design. Gorehounds may also enjoy the additional gore added compared to the first. So overall, it can be considered a primitively entertaining B-horror flick, just don’t expect any masterpiece. It’s shlock and sleaze, pure and simple.
Director: Tate Steinsiek
Writers: Kathy Charles, H.P. Lovecraft
Country & year: US, 2020
Actors: Clair Catherine, Jake Horowitz, Kika Magalhães, Chris Galust, Emily Sweet, Omar Shariff Brunson Jr., Elisha Pratt, Genti Kame, Klodian Hoxha, Klodjana Keco, Josif Sina, Enkel Gurakuqi, Genc Fuga