A remake of Francis Ford Coppola’s early horror film “Dementia 13” likely wasn’t on anyone’s wish list, but this update from Richard LeMay is an enjoyably cheap little gift. The 2017 version echoes the low-budget feel of the 1963 original produced by Roger Corman, and like his predecessor, the filmmaker doesn’t skimp on style here.
Set in a New England castle, “Dementia 13” finds the upper-crust Haloran family reuniting for its annual memorial for youngest daughter Kathleen, who died in mysterious circumstances years before. Mother Gloria (Julia Campanelli) and her adult children Rose (Channing Pickett) and Billy (Marianne Noscheze) have arrived, but they can’t find the remaining sibling John (Christian Ryan). A masked man begins to stalk the mansion’s grounds, and death again haunts the Haloran family.
“Dementia 13” is overstuffed and over the top, offering viewers a dearly departed daughter, creepy dolls, the ghosts of Japanese workers who died building the castle, an ax murderer and hired hit men. Just one of these menaces would probably work, but like the Haloran family, the gothic film isn’t about minimalism.
Its camerawork doesn’t take a basic approach either, but the spirals and loops add to the mood rather than detract. Beyond its style, “Dementia 13” doesn’t innovate, but it’s a capably made indie that should please genre fans searching for a haunted diversion.
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood