A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Manor is a low-budget horror tale that will probably only appeal to lovers of laughably bad movies. It's very violent, with lots of killings/murders, mostly stabbings and slashings that are accompanied by gushing blood and dead bodies. There's also a demon/monster, some subliminal-type horror imagery, and nightmare sequences. Language is fairly strong, with many uses of "f--k," plus "t-ts," "s--t," and "ass." There's heavy flirting and innuendo; sex between characters is implied, but no nudity is shown. There's some discussion of sex between cousins, birth control, and STDs, and a character gets pregnant. Characters drink heavily and get very drunk, and some smoke pot. There's also a reference to an acid trip.
What's the story?
In THE MANOR, Amy Hunter (Christina Robinson) is, on her 18th birthday, released from a long stay at a psychiatric hospital, even though her doctor (Rachel True) has reservations. Amy's mother (Tanja Melendez Lynch) picks her up, and they immediately head to Anders Manor for a family reunion with cousins and an aunt and uncle. Things begin awkwardly, but Amy starts to bond with her cousin Blaire (Danielle Guldin) -- and feels stirrings for her other cousin, Trevor (Michael Zuccola). Then, three hillbilly hunters show up at the manor, as well as a busload of cult members known as the True Believers, led by Reverend Thomas (Kevin Nash). Amid much drinking and partying, a demon known as Aka Mana -- which had previously only haunted Amy's nightmares -- shows up and starts wreaking havoc.
Is it any good?
Seriously bizarre and laughably awful, this low-budget horror movie throws in just about every shopworn idea under the sun, but none of it is scary, alluring, or entertaining. The Manor -- previously titled Anders Manor -- is bad enough to warrant an MST3K episode or a YouTube skewering from someone like JonTron or The Nostalgia Critic. Characters who don't go together wander aimlessly in a plot that makes no sense, as if just waiting to meet the killer and be sliced out of the movie as quickly as possible.
The crude lighting and the cinematography take images like a trail of chess pieces or a demon face -- which might have been terrifying in other hands -- and render them about as scary as a backyard haunted house with the lights left on. To correct this, the filmmakers continually resort to almost subliminal flashes of things like bloody knives, which also has little effect. One of many flashback sequences shows a man explaining the game of chess; it's so disconcertingly strange that it will make jaws drop. It's one of the strangest of many head-scratching moments that will have viewers wishing that this "manor" would be condemned.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Manor's violence. How much gore is shown, and how much is suggested? Did it make you scream or jump? Was it disturbing or upsetting?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of horror movies?
In terms of the hunters and the religious cult, are any of the characters treated as stereotypes? Is that OK?
What are the family relationships like in this movie? Are family members close? Do they seem to care about one another? Do they talk? How do they compare with your real-life family relationships?
- On DVD or streaming: May 15, 2018
- Cast: Christina Robinson, Kevin Nash, Rachel True
- Director: Jonathon Schermerhorn
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 87 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: horror violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
- Last updated: September 4, 2020
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