The Tomb (2010) – By Matt Barry

Inspired by the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, The Tomb (directed by Michael Staininger) is an atmospheric horror movie with an interesting modern twist on the original story. Benefiting from good production values and a strong cast, the film builds up a strong sense of dread from its opening scene that works very well throughout the rest of the story.

Jonathan Merrick (Wes Bentley) is a happily engaged professor whose life is changed when he meets Ligeia, a student conducting research at the university where he teaches, and quickly captures his attention. Ligeia, as we learn in the prologue, has been cursed with an illness and sets about stealing souls – setting her sights on Jonathan! He finds his relationship with his fiancée torn apart as she grows suspicious of Ligeia’s intentions, and Jonathan finds himself pulled further and further into Ligeia’s plot. Eventually, Jonathan reconciles his relationship with his fiancée, and the new couple take up residence in Ligeia’s castle. But just when you think it’s over, another twist presents itself and the film moves along quickly toward the thrilling and unexpected climax.

Director Staininger uses some interesting techniques in cutting back and forth from different events in the story, giving it an occasionally disjointed feeling that works well here. He packs it with some tense moments of suspense, too, that provide some of the best shocks in the film. There’s also some fantastic set design (particularly the castle) that makes for an interesting visual look.

Released through Fangoria and Lightning Media’s joint “Fangoria Frightfest” distribution banner, “The Tomb” is a chilling tale well worth checking out.  Viewers can check out the website at www.FangoriaFrightFest.com.