By David Dent
Harvey Lowry’s 2017 chiller, now with a new title (the original one was ‘Asomatous’ – no, me neither), finally arrives in the UK.
It’s one of those busy haunted house movies that does rather chuck everything into the mix to see what sticks – there are two ghosts and a disembodied voice in the first six minutes, for crying out loud.
So widowed dad Alex Gibbs (Jack Campbell), whose wife died in a house fire, moves to a fixer upper in the middle of nowhere with his kids Sophie (Isabella Kai) and older sister Rachel (Whitney Rose Pynn, who in an odd bit of casting is a 31 year old actress playing a character half her real age – weird).
The real reason why Eric has chosen this particular house is because it’s reputed to be haunted, and he’s a writer who feels a debunking of the whole thing will be a suitable subject for his next book. He’s also had a spell in a psychiatric unit following the death of his wife, so hands up everybody who can see that this might be a bad idea?
Of course it’s not long before things start happening; his wife’s belongings are strewn around in the attic, with neither of the kids accepting responsibility; the guy from the phone company arrives to hook them up, but gets a ghostly visitation and, just like the priest in ‘The Amityville Horror’, a spoken command to ‘Get out!’
Rachel seems to know this history of the house, but the rest of the details are provided by neighbour Hannah (Catherine Kresge) who lets him know that a guy killed his family there many years ago, but that there were disturbances even before that incident.
Sophie has an ‘imaginary’ friend who we’re pretty sure is of the spook variety. Later the two girls play Scrabble, and the words formed on the board include ‘fire,’ ‘burning’ and ‘death.’ Triple word score!
The clue to what’s going on is in the original title – which is defined as energy which doesn’t have a body (hence the title change) and it won’t surprise you that among the many movies plundered for content is 2012’s ‘Sinister.’
‘Without a Body’ is often rather silly, a little too schmaltzy (and the soundtrack deafens with the overwroughtness of it all), but an undemanding 90 minutes of your life, and it’s fun playing ‘Haunted House Bingo’ with all the movie references (although they missed the opportunity for a bouncing ball).
Watch the trailer for Without a Body below –