THE CELLAR (2022) is a new horror movie on Shudder that will also be released in theaters at the same time. Elisha Cuthbert stars in this movie and does a good job – as do all the actors. Unfortunately, the story isn’t quite strong enough. Read our full The Cellar horror movie review here!
THE CELLAR (2022) on Shudder is a new horror movie that will be released on Shudder and in movie theaters at the same time. Admittedly, this is far from the strongest new horror movie to be released on Shudder, so it’s difficult to see why this one should also be released on the big screen.
In any case, the actors do deliver some solid performances – with Elisha Cuthbert in the starring role. Unfortunately, they have desperately little to really work with. It’s a damn shame because the potential is absolutely there!
Continue reading our The Cellar horror movie review below and find it on Shudder or in a movie theater from April 15, 2022.
Elisha Cuthbert back in horror
I’ve already watched quite a few horror movies starring Elisha Cuthbert, so it was really cool to see her back in genre films. Maybe this was why I just went into watching The Cellar without knowing anything about it. Though, to be fair, I do think this is often the best way to watch something.
Both trailers and plots tend to reveal too much these days. So, to avoid spoilers, you often have to go in “cold”.
Elisha Cuthbert began in genre productions more than 20 years ago in 1999-2000 with the Are You Afraid of the Dark? teen series. After that, she went on to star in movies such as Jamie Babbit‘s thriller The Quiet and Jaume Collet-Serra‘s horror movie House of Wax (both from 2005). Then came the 2007 Roland Joffé horror movie Captivity. So, yeah, she was quite the scream queen for a few years.
Of course, in this new 2022 horror movie The Cellar, she plays the mom instead of the young scream queen (or final girl, if you will). That works really well for Elisha Cuthbert who looks both great and like she’s the age of someone who would have kids. In a natural way. This might sound strange, but I assure you I mean this to be a compliment. Also, she does a good job.
But good lord, the lines she has to say are pretty brutal. Not by the actual dialogue content, but the actual lines that ultimately make up a very weak story. One with potential, yes, but not a very strong result.
From short film to feature film
I watched The Cellar (2022) without knowing that it was based on a short film. However, interestingly, I noted about halfway through that the part with the ten steps to the cellar could have been an amazing short film. And it turns out that it actually was.
We’ve seen this done before. Swedish director David F. Sandberg began his career by making a horror short film with his wife, Lotta Losten, and having it go viral on YouTube. That 2013 short film was titled Lights Out and became the 2016 feature film Lights Out starring Maria Bello. In 2017, David F. Sandberg went on the direct Annabelle: Creation and has continued doing great work.
Still alongside Lotta Losten, since the two always work together. Maybe that’s part of the secret to success; Having someone alongside you to direct and guide you. Or simply stop you when things are going in a direction that won’t work. Also, the screenplay for the Light Out feature film was written by Eric Heisserer (2016 Oscar-nominated writer for Arrival), which probably also helped.
My point: You often need someone to help “kill your darlings” and make sure the final result is the best it can be. Otherwise, this can be the result, which is far from optimal.
Watch The Cellar In theaters and on Shudder
Brendan Muldowney is the writer and director of The Cellar which is – as mentioned earlier – based on his own 2004 horror short film The Ten Steps. The story just needed more work before it could (successfully!) be turned into a feature film.
Look, I absolutely understand that taking a short film and creating a feature film around that same concept is no small task. Still, that doesn’t excuse making a 94-minute movie that feels like it’s 80 minutes too long. Actually, that isn’t fair because this feature film-length story did have some good elements. As a whole, it just needed more work before it was a complete story.
Because of the apparent potential, I am very curious to see what Brendan Muldowney comes up with next. Fingers crossed that it hits more of its marks.
THE CELLAR (2022) will be out in theaters and on Shudder on April 15, 2022.
Written & Directed By: Brendan Muldowney
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Eoin Macken, Abby Fitz, Dylan Fitzmaurice-Brady
THE CELLAR tells the story of Keira Woods (Cuthbert), whose daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house in the country. Keira soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever.