The Baylock Residence (2018)
Director: Anthony M. Winson
Starring: Kelly Goudie, Sarah Wynne Kordas, Karen Henson, Kieron Brook
“This is making me very uneasy.”
During the London Blitz, Patricia Woodhouse (Kelly Goudie) receives news of her estranged sister Susanna’s (Karen Henson) death. With nothing left in London Patricia goes to Baylock house and meets Annabel (Sarah Wynne Kordas), her sister’s maid. Patricia tries to carry on, seeing to her sister’s things, but strange things begin to happen. Noises wake Patricia in the night, voices come from the shadows and strange dreams assail her. Annabel is disbelieving until she too witnesses the terrifying phenomenon. Patricia is determined to find out what is happening in her house and what happened to her sister. The haunting seem to link back Susanna’s husband Victor who disappeared without a trace years before.
The Baylock Residence has an equal number of pros and cons. So much so that they cancel each other out and what’s left is a zero sum.
Pro: The acting is pretty decent. Goudie and Kordas carry a lot of weight and the vast majority of the screen time. They do a decent job overall.
Con: In a scene when Patricia tells Annabel that not only has she lost her sister but her husband has died in the war and her home was bombed. Goudie delivers this information with all the emotion of reading a grocery list.
Pro: Pretty decent haunted house type plot including creepy dreams and a secret in the attic.
Con: Nothing it done either in color palette or film quality to distinguish past from present, dream from reality. It’s the same one note film throughout.
Pro: I love period pieces and was excited when Baylock opened and the setting was WWII.
Con: The costumes were… not good. Wilson obviously didn’t have the money to pull off a period piece. The hair, costumes, and even the setting aren’t period accurate. It looked more like the actors and extras were asked to provide their own wardrobe out of anything vaguely 40s style pulled from their closets.
Pro: The piano music isn’t terrible.
Con: The score/background music is almost nothing but piano music and it begin to grate after an hour or so.
Pro: The plot takes some nice twists and turns and Patricia has to engage in my favorite thing in horror movies: research at the library.
Con: Toward the end the story wanders off into inscrutable. Horror filmmakers- please just offer a coherent explanation. Impenetrably vague endings aren’t fun and mysterious. They just plain don’t make sense.
Pro: There are ghosts.
Con: The ghosts are boring.
Pro: Wilson made an entire movie an estimated £3000 and it’s not terrible.
Con: It looks about like you’d expect a movie the cost £3000 to look and feel.
So, bottom line. The Baylock Residence isn’t terrible. I’ve certainly sat through much worse. But I’ve also watched much better films of equivalent budget. It’s not bad, it’s not good. It could be worse. It could be better. The most notable scene in the entire film is a terrible CGI composite of a bombed London street that is laughably bad. But after that there are no more special effects and the film is better for it. Baylock offers a decent story with some clever filmmaking for a micro budget film. But it’s not truly scary or atmospheric.
Kudos for: Sob fighting.
Lesson learned: Just leave the bloody house.