Movie Review: The St. Francisville Experiment

ORCHARD HILL – A film titled The St. Francisville Experiment, courtesy of Trimark Home video, was screened in an Orchard Hill dorm Monday night for the purpose of review. Two witnesses were present. One witness, Collegian Boy Band Expert Kurt Polesky, was at his roommate’s computer at the start of the film, not particularly torn between professional wrestling websites and the horror about to unfold. The other witness, Mitch, was initially excited about a cheesy new horror flick.

“I don’t care if it’s a cheap Blair Witch rip-off, I’m sure it will be funny,” he remarked. Mitch’s hope soon turned to sorrow, however, as the film’s awful prologue prepared the room for the worst, and brought all attention to the delivery food ordered an hour ago. According to the intro of the film, four people will spend a night in an old house to verify or disprove rumors that the former residence is haunted. Thankfully, the catchphrase of “this ain’t no walk in the woods” dispels all worries that the film might be a cash run following Blair Witch’s success.

“When the hell is that calzone going to get here?” Mitch asked, eyes fixed on the screen, during a moment of immense terror. Loud whooping and cheers greeted the “not for sale or rental” disclaimer on the screen, while betting commenced on how long it would stay on the screen, as the pile of cash and jewelry on the rug grew taller. Since the disclaimer outlasted all of the room’s bets, the money was returned and the witnesses proceeded to invent drinking games designed with the disclaimer’s screen time in mind.

As voodoo priestess Ava Kay Jones gave story background for the St. Francisville house, it was wondered aloud how much cooler this film would be if Cleo the tarot card reader from TV were in it, as she would probably “keep it real.” Upon entering the house, the four-person team (a leader, a psychic, a historian, and a filmmaker) was shocked by a cheap sparking and collapsing chandelier, a scene that drew comparisons to the special effects in The Matrix.

“It’s really exciting watching four losers use silly instruments searching the house for cold spots,” Mitch observed, with an unhealthy mix of sarcasm and contempt. Meanwhile, Kurt silently laments the fact that has not been updated recently, but remains unintrigued by the film. The most exciting scene in the film so far, a cat meowing as it jumps out of a closet, is dissected in slow motion to reveal that the cat’s mouth was closed while he was meowing loudly.

As the film draws to a close, there is visible disappointment in the room that a story card introducing a section of the film titled “The Cleansing” doesn’t lead to a shower scene with the cute historian. A room-wide poll finds Vince McMahon, Cita from BET, and Flavor Flav as the frontrunners in a survey of whom we would most like to see exploring this haunted house. Towards the end of The St. Francisville Experiment there are some moderately cool developments, like someone getting sucked into a floor and characters becoming mysteriously chained and prepped for butchering, but apparently not enough to dispel the talk of “longest 76 minutes of my life” that filled the air.