Hold Your Breath (2012) – Review

2 Stars

Years after a serial killer is put to death and vows to come back, a group of college friends head off into the wilderness for a vacation. They pass an old cemetery when one exclaims they must “hold your breath”. An urban myth that says taking a breath while passing a cemetery will allow an evil spirit to possess your body. One member of the group doesn’t follow the rule, and the serial killer McBride enters his being. From there the spirit jumps from body to body while taking out the group one by one. An old man in the cemetery may be the survivors’ only hope. Who will escape the wrath of McBride’s ghost?

Hold Your Breath (or #HoldYourBreath as the film’s been marketed to appeal to the Twitter crowd) is The Asylum’s first foray into theatrical exhibition. It’s because of this that my expectations were especially high, but after having watched this I was left wondering why they chose this film to push into theaters? Was it because of Katrina Bowden? She’s not that well known, nor is she really utilized to any great degree. The Asylum has made several films that were much more entertaining than Hold Your Breath recently.

Sure the movie is lensed competently, it’s the writing and general flow of the story that makes no sense at times. Bowden’s character freaks out while driving past the cemetery — holding the superstitious breathing in story to be fully true. Yet later she has no issue messing about in an abandoned insane asylum playing with an electric chair where people have clearly been put to death. Which brings us to the detour of the insane asylum, which serves as a momentary escape from the actual film. These kids are running around the asylum, which I guess should be scary to us (I’m still not sure about the intent here), but the serial killer possessed kid stays behind to dick around by the car. So there’s nothing in the asylum to get anyone. Naturally there’s a sex scene, because everyone gets horny around old, dirty and rusty medical equipment. I mean c’mon, we’d all screw on the table in the morgue right? And the extremely cheesy 80’s style music did nothing to help the moment.

I could go on and on about how this flick beats around the bush, but it gets even stranger when it jumps back on track. Hold Your Breath can’t decide if it wants to exist in the 80’s or 2010’s, let alone if it wants to be a comedy or a horror flick. When all these collide it results in instances of hilarity, boredom and stupidity. With characters changing their stances in every new situation, nothing can be guessed by the audience, and everything feels made-up on the spot. Hold Your Breath is unfortunately far from the best The Asylum is producing, but I hope not the last time they branch out into a theatrical release.

Director: Jared Cohn
Stars: Katrina Bowden, Randy Wayne, Erin Marie Hogan