If you’re a horror movie fan, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the familiar and no-bullshit approach of Furnace. It’s a great warm-up flick that can get you in the mood for something better and more original. This one is so cliched that it actually works in its favor. The blend of different ideas we’ve seen in so many other movies is a great conversation starter. And trying to guess original movies will test your knowledge of the genre. Let us start with the setting, an old and decrepit prison, hiding many secrets. Like wow, how imaginative, at least we’re not in some old hospital or even worse a sanatarium.

To top things off, we hear that there might be some haunting involved. And did I mention that a troubled detective is investigating all this? After all this, you might be wondering is Furnace worth watching? Well, if you’re a fan of the genre or are looking for some standard-issue scares, you should check it out. An old abandoned section of the prison really looks spooky and the furnace itself is scary as hell. Moreover, there’s this eerie vibe that anything can jump out at any given time making the atmosphere somewhat suspenseful.

After a series of strange and mysterious deaths in a maximum-security penitentiary, Blackgate is causing quite a stir. So, Detective Michael Turner comes to investigate the case and find out why people are dying so much. His first suspect is the psychiatrist Dr. Ashley Carter, who was pumping some strange drugs into prisoners. That is, however, just the beginning of his investigation…

Actors were mostly C list, with a few exceptions (Tom Sizemore, Michael Paré and Danny Trejo are B’s) and they’ve done their job accordingly. Furnace is a sturdy B horror movie with a creepy setting. I think that everybody involved knew that this is going to be just another DVD horror filler, without any aspiration to greatness. Sometimes you want to watch movies like that. They feel safe and cozy with a familiar story and characters. The dialogue could be better and there’s also a missed opportunity to further develop the characters. On the other hand, if they did all this, the movie would lose that loser B movie charm. If such a thing exists and I think it does.

If you’re looking for similar movies take a look at Renny Harlin’s Prison from 1987 and Alien 3. Also, if you’re all about the setting, check our Rabbit Reviews selection of Prison Movies.

Director: William Butler

Writers: Scott Aronson, William Butler, Anghus Houvouras, Aaron Strongoni

Cast: Michael Paré, Ja Rule, Jenny McShane, Danny Trejo, Tom Sizemore, Cowboy Troy

Fun Facts: Furnace was shot in the old Tennesse State prison, where there was no electricity or heating.

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497373/

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