‘The Cellar’: Slow Descent into Subpar, Scare-Free Territory

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Plot: When a couple’s daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house her mother soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home. And she will have to face the entity or risk losing her family’s souls forever.

Review: There’s a YouTube horror short called The Ten Steps and while it’s over a decade old, I would argue it’s still a hundred times more effective than The Cellar, a film that is obviously inspired by it.

Oh my god! Is that black mould?!

Starring Elisha Cuthbert (star of The Girl Next Door, 24 and House of Wax) as Keira, a mother of two who with her husband Brian (Eoin Macken of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, The Forest) move their family into an old mansion once owned by an eccentric but brilliant mathematician. Her daughter Elle (Abby Fitz) hates the new house and the creepy cellar it contains, but one night when the lights go out she’s forced to go into said cellar by her mother who stays on the phone with her as she traverses the cellar’s ten steps. But when Elle continues counting beyond ten and ultimately disappears her mother comes to believe there’s a lot more to their cellar than mould and old furniture.

The best thing I can say about this film is its cinematography is beautiful. While most of the story takes place in the house, there are also some wide shots of the surrounding rural area and director Brendan Muldowney has a great eye for it all.

There’s…something…in the cellar…some…thing…

Sadly, everything else is subpar and very uninspired. There’s zero chemistry between any of these people, which makes it difficult to care about them as a unit, the story beats are very predictable and worst of all, the scares are non-existent. I’ll give them points for the mathematics or maybe alchemy angle they came up with as a backstory for the “evil presence”; it’s not something I can remember seeing before especially in a movie with demonic entities. But there is not one moment in this entire film I could call genuinely scary or chilling.

So taking you right back to the start of my review, sometimes the best horror stories are the short and sweet ones. The Ten Steps is a far more compelling and spine-tingling film than this full length feature could ever hope to be. I recommend watching it instead of The Cellar which simply stated, breaks the number one rule of horror movies—it’s just not scary.

Sommer’s Score: 4.5 out of 10

Have you seen The Ten Steps and The Cellar? How would you compare the two? And you can check out more supernatural horror content below:


2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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