As I was watching Greystone Park, I was thinking, "Wow, how'd they get Oliver Stone to act in this?" I totally forgot, the indie horror flick is directed by Sean Stone, the celebrity filmmaker's son. No wonder! But dad's got nothing to hide (unlike George Romero… whose son's film I loathed [read my review of Staunton Hill here - http://www.horror.com/php/article-2532-1.html] ).
Don't get me wrong: Greystone Park is not a great movie or even a really good one, and it would surely have made a better short (especially given the dead-tired "found footage" routine), but I was mostly entertained by it (it's kind of meta, which I tend to like). Surely, Stone's experience directing documentaries on his father's films over the years helped him out here as far as sussing out a story from (even fictional) found footage.
Here's the basic synopsis, which — so they claim — is based on a true story: In October 2009, the filmmakers went into an abandoned psychiatric hospital to explore a "haunted" mental institution, famous for its radical treatment of its guineapig-like patients. Electroshock, insulin therapy, and lobotomies were commonplace. Once inside, the filmmakers quickly discovered that they were not alone. All that energy floating around inside is not at rest, not at all! This story is based on their experiences, but of course, ramped up to 11 for the horror genre.
The small expedition consists of: Sean (Sean Stone), Alex (Alexander Wraith), and Antonella (Antonella Lentini). Alex, who has been there before, fills his pals in on the usual treatments (weird stuff, like poking the patients in the eyes with sharp sticks… the doctors at Greystone make the M.D.s at Bedlam sound like resort hosts!). Kooky characters abound, such as batty Billy and crazy Kate, former patients of the place who may or may not be alive… or they may not even exist at all. (But they are caught on tape, so to speak… so they can't possibly be hallucinations… can they?)
There are lots of empty jump scares, musical stings, pointless peering into the darkness, jarring editing, etc. which bring the movie down to sheer stupidity in several spots. But the characters are likable and I thought the baddies were pretty well-played. I must confess, I was watching the movie as background filler, but it kept me interested enough to keep checking in to see how the terrified trio was faring. Overall, Greystone Park is decent time-waster and nothing more.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson