BigTone | Rhode Island | 08/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank God that someone delivered a voodoo film with an intelligent story and an awesome climax. Fans of psychological horror films and supernatural thrillers will love this film, as I did.
Pratten has obviously either been striped naked himself as part of some kind of voodoo ritual or he's really done his homework. This is the most authentic voodoo/santeria stuff in a movie I've ever seen.
I loved the direction too - nice shots, nice creepy suspenseful moments... and boy... nice chicks!
A Superb Directing Debut!
Bill Scheinman | San Francisco, CA | 12/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Pratten's terrific indie film, London Voodoo, is a subtle and intelligent adult horror film in the spirit of Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now. Voodoo has never seemed less a cliche. Terrific acting performances, creepy out-of-the-corner of-your-eye editing and camera work, and a chilling gothic score by Steve Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame all make London Voodoo a unique experience not to be missed by fans of intelligent horror. Bill Scheinman"
A for effort, but. . .
Nathan Blumenfeld | Wilmington, DE United States | 09/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, writer/director Robert Pratten's first, is an interesting and worthwhile movie that I recommend with reservations. The premise is fairly basic: a yuppie American couple with a young daughter moves to London for the husband's career. Soon, the wife is possessed by an ancient, pissed off spirit, who wants to possess the husband with her lost lover. As far as that goes, there's little you haven't seen before: the workaholic husband who doesn't have time for his family, the pissed-off, lonely wife, the ending reconciliation you know is coming right from the beginning.
But this movie, unlike so many others, is fairly effective. Instead of cheap shocks, it builds and maintains suspense through character development, and doesn't cater to the teenaged MTV moviegoing crowd. The acting here is uneven -- all of the actors run the gamut from cringeworthy acting to some really convincing stuff. Doug Cockle, playing the husband, does his best Kevin Spacey and occasionally comes close to pulling it off. He also boldly shows more skin than his wife. Sara Stewart, his wife, smolders like a pornstar in some scenes, yet at other times is very effective, both as mother and possessed warrior. Vonda Barnes is generally decent as the au pair. Unfortunately, all these characters are pretty unlikeable from the getgo, so it's sometimes hard to develop much sympathy for them.
Still, despite its obviously very limited budget, its clichéd score, and its mostly utilitarian sets, this is an effective horror film, and quite a good debut for the director. It's not great, but there are some kernels of greatness in it. If you like good horror, definitely check it out; if you're in the mood for Hollywood thrills'n'chills, this is probably not what you're looking for."
I'm in a Voodoo state of mind!
alan rowe kelly | Paterson, NJ | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I was lucky enough to catch the premiere of London Voodoo at the Fearless Tales Genre Fest in San Francisco this winter 2004 and was literally glued to the screen! For the first time since 1987's The Believers, and 1988's Serpent and the Rainbow, comes a stylish, authentic and urban tale of voodoo, possession, exorcism and redemption. London Voodoo is a film, much like Rosemary's Baby, in that it takes its time telling its story in order to reveal it's many hidden surprises.
Manahattanites Lincoln (Doug Cockle) and Sarah (Sarah Stewart) move to London with their baby and take up residency in a poshy reconverted old townhouse - not knowing that their new (but old) home, especially the basement, has a very serious past. Settling into their new lifestyle, Lincoln establishes his executive career with a popular high-end company in midtown. Meanwhile, Sarah and her baby are left alone in an environment that is not only foreign, but also extremely lonely -and director Robert Pratten does wonders with his leading lady by slowly revealing her American neurosis of the classic misplaced 'Yankee' in a new country.
With construction work going on throughout their new home, Sarah soon discovers a dark secret entombed in the basement. And this is where the film really takes off!
London Voodoo offers it all. Mystery and intrigue soon turn to paranoia and mounting terror. I'm not going to reveal any more of the storyline - you have to see this one for yourselves! The supporting cast, especially Trisha Mortimer, Sven-Bertil Taube and the vampy Vonda Barnes only add to the great atmosphere and subplots of the film. It's easy to see why director Robert Pratten won Best Director at the Fearless Tales Genre Fest. His attention to detail - especially his knowledge of the very intricate practices of voodoo, white and black magic and spells, is a lesson in itself.
And also noted is that his amazing ensemble' cast won the Best Acting accolades at the same festival- with kudos going to Cockle and Stewart.
Finally a creepy tale that relies on real actors - and not 'stars'. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but horror movies should always put characters first to pull you in before unleashing its fright upon the audience.
Much like the more polished fright flicks of the sixties such as Curtis Harrington's Games (1967), and even Freddie Francis' Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), London Voodoo is a cerebral and stylish foray into the horror/voodoo genre . chilling without showing much, therefore leaving a lot to the imagination - but trust me - you'll jump!"