Hell’s Half Acre (2023)

Urban exploring YouTube content creator Marcus (Quinn Nehr) loves going into abandoned buildings and sharing the history of each lost place before looking around and sharing it with his users. The problem is, he’s losing his views because there are a ton of people who do the exact same videos as him. He’s sunk all his money into making videos, so he’s starting to grow disenchanted. Then, his girlfriend Jessie (Bryn Beveridge) comes up with a big idea: they should explore the Rockland Heights Prison, a frightening spot that’s haunted by not one, but two serial killers.

Before you can say, “I bet one of the YouTube guys gets shocked in the electric chair,” you know that Marcus’ disbelief in the unknown is going to get tested by cannibalistic criminal phantom Martin Clay (Anthony Pape) and the spook who was once Eddie Richards (Gary Soumar), a killing machine who delighted in painting the walls red with the blood of his victims.

The film that emerges is slow going at first, as a variety of YouTube want-to-be superstars converge, whether they’re explorers or ghost hunters, and find themselves as prey. But the end, where the gore starts to spray the screen? Why couldn’t we have gotten to that particular firework factory sooner?

James Patrick Tomasek directed, wrote and produced this. With a bigger budget and ideas, I think he could really make something. As for this, he got great use out of his locations and seems to find his footing by the end.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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