Bright Hill Road parents guide

Bright Hill Road Parent Guide

Not even horror movie fans will enjoy this tediously derivative production.

Overall D

CIFF: Marcy is a struggling alcoholic, but her troubles are only just beginning: A shooting at her workplace puts her on leave, and she decides to head out to California, stopping briefly at the Bright Hill Road Boarding House...but finds it oddly hard to get back out again.

Release date September 24, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is Bright Hill Road rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Bright Hill Road Not Rated

Run Time: 92 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Marcy (Siobhan Williams) is an HR manager with a busy company – a job that’s complex when you’re sober, which Marcy usually isn’t. Marcy is an alcoholic trapped in a downward spiral, and the acceleration only increases when she drunkenly ignores a warning from a co-worker about a recently terminated and extremely disgruntled employee. When the man comes back and shoots up the office, Marcy is firmly encouraged by her boss to take some time off. Deciding to visit family in California (and maybe even sober up), Marcy finds herself down, out, and drunk in the Bright Hill Road Boarding House – a creepy old building run by the eminently enigmatic Mrs. Inman (Agam Darshi) – and wallowing in her own misfortune. But when she decides to leave, Marcy finds that it may be harder than she thought…

This film was shot in the miniscule town of Stavely, which marks the rough midway point between my house and my grandmother’s. Despite its relative proximity, I have never once stopped (nor been tempted to stop) anywhere near Stavely. As with many small towns, it emanates its own little aura of depression and boredom. To paraphrase the late great Harry Chapin, “I spent a week there one afternoon”. Even driving past the iconic grain elevators seems to sap about a fortnight off my life expectancy.

So, you’re thinking, that sounds like a perfect place to shoot a horror movie! You probably wouldn’t even need characters; all you’d have to do is shoot the town! Well, I had the same idea, and I was dead wrong. It turns out that when you make a clichéd and slow horror film in Staveley, it really just ends up feeling like you spent too long driving past this speck on the map.

Bright Hill Road isn’t exactly family fare, either. The violence is rather less than you see in other films in the genre, but it’s still too much for kids or the squeamish. What I found particularly unappealing (other than Stavely itself, of course) was the scene of sexual assault. It’s a difficult subject to handle at the best of times, with the best of intentions, and it feels like it was just dropped into this movie to crank up the stakes a bit. Not my favorite.

Let’s do a quick rundown on the premise – alcoholic, remote location, spooky hotel, ghosts of the past…. Yeah, this is The Shining. The problem with playing with that playbook is that The Shining is considered one of the best horror films ever made, and Stanley Kubrick is one of the most innovative and talented directors of all time. In comparison, Bright Hill Road shrivels like a corpse in the desert.

Directed by Robert Cuffley. Starring Siobhan Williams, Michael Eklund, and Agam Darshi. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release September 24, 2020. Updated

Bright Hill Road
Rating & Content Info

Why is Bright Hill Road rated Not Rated? Bright Hill Road is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: There are several scenes depicting a mass shooting. A car accident is seen. There are references to rape, murder, and arson. An individual is raped and choked. There are several scenes depicting graphic injuries and blood.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes of an individual in a bathtub, but only seen from the shoulders up. There is a sex scene which starts consensually and rapidly devolves into a violent rape.
Profanity: There are twenty uses of extreme profanity, three uses of scatological cursing, and occasional use of terms of deity and mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: The protagonist is an alcoholic, and is frequently shown drinking heavily, sometimes driving afterwards.

Page last updated

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Stephen King is the chief purveyor of horror fare for the masses, and among the most relevant of his titles are The Shining, Doctor Sleep, and 1408. Those interested in some of the more metaphysical consequences of this story might also enjoy his novel Revival.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

There are plenty of films with a similar premise and much better execution. The most notable include The Shining and its sequel, Doctor Sleep, as well as1408, and The Lodge.