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The St. Francisville Experiment
The St Francisville Experiment
Actors: Madison Charap, Troy Taylor, Ryan Larson, Paul James Palmer, Tim Baldini
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2000     1hr 19min

As of June 2000, experts had documented two hundred twenty five haunted houses in the United States. Almost half can be found... in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Deep in the heart of the south, at the end of a long, dark ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Madison Charap, Troy Taylor, Ryan Larson, Paul James Palmer, Tim Baldini
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Creators: Tim Baldini, Paul Salamoff, Jeff Bradley, Tom Vater, Charles Band, Dana Scanlan, Gary Schmoeller
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/26/2000
Original Release Date: 01/01/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1999
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 19min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Nick H. from ALTON, IL
Reviewed on 3/2/2014...
A group of supposed "real people" are in fact portrayed by actors in this supposed documentary which revolves around a well-known, well-publicized but false tale. I saw the director's cut with commentary at a ghost convention and his comments included scenes that were shot and inserted after he left...including the casual discovery of an artifact supposedly overlooked for nearly 200 years. Not that the mansion isn't haunted, just that the perpetuated story of a slave girl who accidentally poisoned her master's children is untrue.
Deidra C. (Deidra670) from GARRETT, KY
Reviewed on 12/26/2010...
THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT combines the elements of TBWP, actual New Orleans history and an old-fashioned ghost story. Four strangers gather together to spend the night in a supposedly haunted house. The result is mixed. The four people are annoying, whiny and more than a bit chatty. In other words, typical, almost a slice of real life. Maybe that's why the last ten minutes of the movie are so shocking.

The main draw of THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT for me was the historical backdrop of Madame LaLaurie legend. Madame LaLaurie was a upper class sadist who kept several slaves in her attic, torturing and maiming them for her own sick satisfaction. I've always found the Madame LaLaurie story fascinating and THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT explores this aspect to the suspected haunted house.

So, THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT is a mixed bag. I enjoyed it. Would I watch it again? Probably not. But it's a good way to pass the time on these long wintery nights.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A lumbering pseudo documentary
Chris K. Wilson | Dallas, TX United States | 02/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"You have to love a good ghost story to enjoy "The St. Francisville Experiment," a rehash of the immensely popular "Blair Witch Project" which came out the year before in 1999. Both films are pseudo documentaries filmed by annoying youngsters who set out to crack the mystery of ominous old legends. In both cases, the kids start their respective expeditions confident and self-assured, hand-held cameras jerking about while they spout wisecracks at the nearest shadows. Eventually, the kids end up terrified, surrounded by supernatural forces they could never have imagined.

I consider "The Blair Witch Project" to be a modern-day horror classic, well acted and perfectly executed. It frightened me, and I enjoyed the fact that the monsters could never quite be seen. The filmmakers caught lightning in a bottle, and when they released its fiercely mediocre sequel a couple of years later, it was apparent the magic was gone.

There is some magic in "The St. Francisville Experiment," but it is still inferior to "The Blair Witch Project" in almost every way. The acting is forced, the locale at a supposed haunted house in Louisiana is only slightly eerie, and the conclusion is never believable. And yet there's a scene, when a ghostly specter makes an appearance, that will definitely give you the creeps. It's all fun, and perhaps the young at heart will get a kick out of this carnival ride.

Four kids, including a filmmaker, historian, psychic and the obligatory "team leader," decide to spend the night in a haunted house. Prior to the big bash, the history of the house is documented. Somehow, and none too convincingly, they connect the house's history with the infamous New Orleans' legend of Madame LaLaurie. An 1830s Creole socialite who lived in the French Quarter, her house supposedly burned down and discovered within was a torture chamber where she conducted hideous experiments on slaves. She fled New Orleans in the middle of the night and, according to this film, eventually holed up in the secluded St. Francisville home.

The Madame LaLaurie legend, the Grand Guignol of New Orleans ghost stories, has never been convincingly proven, though it has been recited for over 100 years. I actually enjoyed the fact that "The St. Francisville Experiment" attempted to connect its story with this most famous of urban legends. The tale is as creepy as the set-up for "The Blair Witch Project," and unlike the latter film, the legend is at least partially based on fact.

The kids arrive in the middle of the night, enter the house and begin exploring its interior. The house is certainly authentic, but it's apparent that at least someone arrives on a regular basis to dust and clean its interior. But never mind. Closets are explored, a seance is conducted and a chair flies across the attic - and it all works for the most part. My problem at this point is the growing fear of the actors. Their hyperventilating terror is never convincing and it is abundantly clear they are mimicking the very good performances from "The Blair Witch Project." Additional secrets are discovered, including hidden chambers, but I realized I could have just as well bought a ticket to a Halloween funhouse for the same scares.

The beauty of "The Blair Witch Project" was that during its frantic running time, there was never a moment of doubt. Certainly the documentary was fabricated, but it was always convincing. I was never convinced by "The St. Francisville Experiment." Had the filmmakers spent a bit more time with their idea, they could have struck a nerve. There is always something unsettling about an old abandoned house, similar to what was seen during the final moments of "The Blair Witch Project." But the house used in this film, even with its hidden chambers and old furniture, looks like a display at the local museum.

It took a great amount of skill and imagination to pull off "The Blair Witch Project." There were so many missteps that could have been taken. None were. "The St. Francisville Experiment" lumbers around and makes these very mistakes. We see chains falling, chairs flying and ghosts hovering within mirrors. I liked the ghost, but the film leaves little to the imagination, and thus its authenticity is compromised. For a low budget flick such as this, that is a mistake."
What were you looking for?
Garry Daniel | Knoxville, TN United States | 08/06/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I've read some of the reviews of this film (good and bad) and I cannot believe the people who wrote the bad reviews actually thought it was supposed to be real. Did you really think the Blair Witch Project was real as well? These are MOVIES!
If you accept BLAIR WITCH and ST. FRANCISVILLE for what their producers intended; Cheaply made, scripted movies pretending to be documentaries, then you'll begin to see the fun in them.
And St. Francisville was a fun film. There were actually some very good (and frightful) moments. The chair flying across the room, for one. The people who are upset that B.W. and ST. Francisville are "obvious fakes" are probably confused as to why The Beatles allowed Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to perform on one of their albums."
I gave this 3 stars because it is a special film...
missy elliot | CA USA | 04/16/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I gave this movie 3 stars. This all depends on what you are looking for in a movie. This movie is embarassingly horrible... it is a great laugh... it is a travesty caught on tape. But if you are in the video store looking for the worst movie ever made... THIS IS IT. The St. F Experiment is the WORST MOVIE EVER MADE! So rent it while expectations are at an all time low and have some fun. Trash does not always need to be taken out... James"