The House on Mansfield Street Review - A Suburban Horror Story

Summary and Review of The House on Mansfield Street

Nick Greene: Mathew Hunt Emma King: Kathryn Redwood Director: Richard Mansfield Released: 2018

As he speaks into camera, Nick Greene is upbeat as he leaves his London home to start a new life in a Nottingham suburb in the “House on Mansfield Street”. He has secured a job locally and has decided to video-document his life, as he embarks upon this new adventure. 

Soon after moving in, he’s visited by his next door neighbour, Emma King (Kathryn Redwood), who offers him a good luck charm as a welcome gift. After she leaves, Nick hears unusual noises from upstairs and when he investigates, finds displaced items and discovers another, much older “good luck charm” in the attic. All very strange but it doesn’t bother him for long as he’s busy exploring his new surroundings.

As the days go by, things start to take a downward turn. Nick finds an unsettling video clip on his computer that he didn’t upload, strange occurrences and noises continue and he starts to experience the same troubling dream each night. To top it off, the overnight footage (he films everything), reveals a disturbing development to add to his unease.

Nick has already made it clear that he is a sceptic when it comes to the spiritual realm but as the intensity of events increases, he realises that there are things that cannot be explained away with logic and he starts to lose his grip on reality. From here, the narrative unfolds in a fairly predictable way but, for the most part the tension builds nicely as Nick tries to pick his way through the mystery. Although there were ludicrous moments, this was compensated for with some decent jump-scares so I can say that it did its job on that level.

Matthew Hunt puts in a decent performance with his portrayal of a man unravelling in the face of eerie and inexplicable events. However, his reactions to certain incidents were noticeably understated when any sane person would have been running for the nearest hotel. Kathryn Redwood was rather less convincing and delivered her lines almost apologetically but with a small part in this film, it didn’t grate as much as it could have done. 

“The House on Mansfield Street'' was filmed using an iPhone and a GoPro and much of the action is captured in split screen (forward and rear-facing) but I’m not sure if it added anything overall to the cinematography. There were atmospheric external shots of Nick’s house, intercut with his footage, giving the impression of a watcher-in-the-suburbs intruder and creepy scenes were telegraphed by a dark soundscape score of varying intensity, although I would say that this probably not necessary in a found-footage production, as the disquiet is often generated by quiet.

I have to admire the results from the use of such “primitive” equipment. There was, however, the glaring omission of a solid backstory. Well, any sort of backstory so the questions of what and why were left unanswered. This was irritating as the framework of the story was fairly sound but it needed more of a base to make it more credible. Added to this, the ending came abruptly and with disappointing predictability. It all felt rather rushed, as if the crew were in a hurry to wrap things up, which felt unsatisfying.

Anyone who has seen Richard Mansfield’s other suburban house-based horrors (The House in Sherwood and The Investigation: A Haunting in Sherwood) will see similarities with this offering but they took forever to get going, albeit with more developed backstories. The House on Mansfield Street has the opposite problem; it moves along decently enough but is let down by a lack of history as well as some patchy acting and direction. Having said that, to my mind, this is the best of the three and if you were intrigued but disappointed by the previous outings, this may be worth a watch.



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