Horror is one of those film genres that doesn’t always need originality. If there are enough jump scares, or even a few creepy moments they can be fun. The Vault is an example of a horror film lacking innovation, but does it still manage to be entertaining?
Two sisters Vee (Taryn Manning) and Leah Dillon (Francesca Eastwood) plan on robbing a bank to get the funds to save their brother. Forming a small group of robbers, everything seems to go to plan, until they decide to open the old vault in the bank’s basement.
The first act of The Vault starts interestingly enough. We get to see the bank doing its business while a few characters enter the bank, and of course the audience can tell what they are up to. This isn’t meant to be something hidden, it is right in front of our eyes. Then of course to bring in the horror, things start to go wrong.
In introducing the bank’s bloody history in the credits, we already know that there have been many deaths, all involved in a bank robbery. This is a good way to introduce us to the idea that there may be something in the basement. James Franco is also there to push the crooks to open the vault. He’s not a strange character…at all. If you didn’t pick up the sarcasm there, then I’m just saying, Franco doesn’t hide the fact that his character is just plain weird.
When it comes to the actual menace in the movie, the ghosts are actually quite interesting, and have a good back story. The only problem is, they are slightly too generic to really fear them. I think the problem may be that we’ve seen a few too many movies around cursed objects/people/rooms/etc. to really shock us anymore. I will admit though that I found the main “ghost” in the mask to actually look cool, Jessee J. Clackson’s body language in this voiceless part really gives the character some presence.
While I may have seemed a little negative about the movie, The Vault isn’t actually that bad. While it doesn’t really manage to create a feeling of tension, it still has an interesting story. I would have liked the film to have focused a little more on the back story of the bank more, to give the ghosts a bit more character, but this is something we just don’t get. If anything, it is the lack of atmosphere in the film that lets it down.
One thing that is noticeably good in the film is the cast. With James Franco, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood, and Clifton Collins Jr. standing out, the performances are impressive. It is questionable though why Clifton Collins Jr. is so underused, a good actor like that deserves more screen time.
If you are looking for a fairly entertaining horror film, then The Vault is a good choice. While it doesn’t really have much impact in terms of real scares, there is still a mystery there that actually manages to be interesting. If anything, the James Franco character will have you constantly questioning what the hell is going on with him, which is something you’ll be asking a lot.
THE VAULT is in cinemas and on iTunes & digital HD from 8th September