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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Widow’s Point

September 21, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Widow’s Point

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #523: Widow’s Point


Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival Review Marathon: Week 3

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never participated in a publicity stunt for anything, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and twenty-three, the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival Review Marathon continues with the wildly unsettling horror thriller Widow’s Point starring modern horror icon Craig Sheffer and written and directed by Gregory Lamberson, adapted from the book Widow’s Point by Richard Chizmar and Billy Chizmar.

Widow’s Point


When I read the script for Widow’s Point prior to my set visit last year, I figured that the movie would be awash in sinister blue tones and chock full of jump scares. It was a ghost story and a story about a haunted lighthouse, so why wouldn’t the movie have those things in it (there were certainly scenes in the script that seemed to suggest to me that that’s what director Lamberson wanted to do)? That’s how you make a ghost movie, right? That’s how everyone else seems to do it. While watching the actual filming of the movie, it didn’t seem like there were many blues on display. It also didn’t look like there were going to be many, if any actual “standard” jump scares in the movie. And what was the deal with most of the movie taking place during the day, when it was goddamn light out? How was that going to be scary? Now that I’ve seen the finished product, I can say that Widow’s Point really isn’t scary at all, at least not in the “traditional” sense. Instead, Widow’s Point is an unsettling, unnerving descent into downright madness, featuring a brilliant, terrifying performance from star Sheffer. This is a cliché, yes, but it’s so damn true; Widow’s Point really gets under your skin.

Craig Sheffer stars as Thomas Livingston, a sort of down on his luck former famous writer looking to hit it big once again with a new, scary book based on “true events.” As part of this scheme, Livingston wants to spend a weekend alone inside the Widow’s Point Lighthouse in Harper’s Cove, which is believed to be cursed and haunted as a publicity stunt to get people interested in his proposed book. And Livingston wants to film the whole thing, so people can sort of experience what he experiences while staying in the lighthouse. Livingston’s agent Marshall (Richard Satterwhite) is on board with the plan, and Livingston’s assistant Rosa (KateLynn E. Newberry) is willing to participate, too (she will man the cameras the entire weekend, with the help of hired technician Andre, played by Dominic Luongo). The only person who isn’t fully on board with the stunt is lighthouse owner Parker (Michael Thurber). Sure, Parker isn’t above taking whatever money Livingston plans on paying to stay at the lighthouse, but at the same time Parker knows that the lighthouse is a bad place and he doesn’t want to deal with any of the nasty bullshit that will no doubt happen if Livingston stays there. Parker eventually relents, and Livingston’s “hang out at the Widow’s Point Lighthouse” publicity stunt is a go.

So Livingston goes inside the lighthouse, with cameras and supplies in tow (you know, water and sandwiches and fruit and whatnot, all in a big cooler). Parker locks him inside, warning the writer one last time that odds are good that this thing will end badly for him. The fucking lighthouse is haunted and cursed, after all. Why subject yourself to certain, avoidable doom? Livingston is aware of the potential consequences, but to him the rewards outweigh the risks. And, hell, ghosts and curses are bullshit anyway. They’re just stories. Nothing nasty will happen.

At first, nothing does happen. Livingston just sits in the lighthouse keeper’s quarters, talking into the camera and trying to set the tone for his weekend scheme. Meanwhile, Rosa immediately gets bored by the goings on inside the lighthouse. And that’s when all of the nothing starts to become something. You see, Thomas Livingston isn’t the only presence inside the Widow’s Point Lighthouse. But who, or what, is that other presence? Is that other presence related to the old stories about the lighthouse being cursed and haunted? Could all of that bullshit actually be real? The video feed eventually cuts out, although it shouldn’t have. The sound still works, though. How is that possible? What is happening?

Now, while all of that is going on, there are multiple sort of flashback stories concerning the nasty past of the Widow’s Point Lighthouse and the surrounding area. One of them involves a movie that was made at the lighthouse and the actress that committed suicide on the set, and a grisly as fuck story from the early 1900’s where we see O’Leary (John Renna), after a big deal card game, wipe out an entire family with a hammer. We also see a little girl named Delaney Collins (Kaelin Lamberson) go through her ordeal at the lighthouse, coming into contact with a ghastly spirit in a white dress.

Livingston knows all of these stories as he introduces them/narrates them. They were all research for his book and his stay in the lighthouse. And they were just stories. But, the longer Livingston stays in the lighthouse, the more and more it seems those stories aren’t “just stories.” They are things that really happened, and they are the direct result of whatever the hell has a hold on the lighthouse. What is doing all of this? By the end of the weekend, Livingston, and the audience, will find out.

In general, Widow’s Point moves along at a brisk pace and doesn’t waste time getting to where it wants to go. When Livingston is, for the lack of a better word, accosted, by the presence in the lighthouse the pace actually ramps up and it’s all about how Livingston reacts to that presence. At first, Livingston knows something is up but he doesn’t know quite what that is. The water in his cooler is undrinkable (he complains quite a bit about the water being salty). His food is suddenly rotten (look at the maggots on that sandwich! And what the hell happened to the fruit?). And when he tries to walk down the steps? Good luck trying to get to the bottom. The more that happens, the more Livingston loses it. When he figures it out and he understands what’s going on (or, at least, what he thinks he’s figured out), Livingston makes an effort to “fix” the problem, which is insane because how do you fight against something that is beyond the natural world? Livingston goes for it anyway. What else can he do?

The flashbacks, more than anything else in the movie, establish an overwhelming sense of dread that just grows as the movie progresses. The “movie made at the lighthouse” story starts off kind of goofy (watch for a hilarious cameo by Sam Qualiana, playing the part in the movie that he basically did behind the scenes making Widow’s Point), but when the actress jumps from the top of the lighthouse and hangs herself, all bets are off. The flashback involving the aftermath of the old time card game is not for the squeamish and will likely upset some people watching, but it also shows that anything can happen, just in case you didn’t figure that out from the first story. And the longest flashback, with Kaelin Lamberson’s Delaney Collins confronting the ghost in the white dress and a family excursion to the woods is disturbing in a different way. The sequence gives you a fall sense of security, even though you know that it doesn’t end well for anyone. The period costumes and detail are fantastic in these flashbacks and make you think that they are taking place in a different time and place (check out the tie worn by Patrick Collins, played by the great Paul McGinnis. No human being in modern times would wear a tie like that).

Now, when it comes to the movie’s lack of jump scares, check out the scene where the ghost pops up out of nowhere and slides along the ground. In a “normal” ghost movie, that kind of scene would be enhanced with loud music and some sort of amplified sound on the soundtrack. The audience would scream out. Instead of doing that, the ghost here makes the audience cringe with terror. The camera doesn’t move away from the ghost; the audience gets to see all of it, and it forces you to freeze in your seat. You want to gasp but you can’t. It’s unnerving. That kind of thing shouldn’t happen in a modern ghost movie. Yet, that’s how Widow’s Point transcends those movies and gets under your skin. It just creeps you out.

And speaking of being creeped out, the song that plays over the end credits is maybe the scariest thing in the movie, something that will send cold shivers down your spine once its over because once you hear it you can’t unhear it. You start to think about it and, Jesus Christ, you hear it again, clear as day, in your head. It’s just Kaelin Lamberson singing “This Old Man,” for God’s sake. You shouldn’t be this freaked out by it, and yet you are. Amazing.


Watching Craig Sheffer come apart as Thomas Livingston is a true thing of dark, horror movie beauty. He walks into that lighthouse with a positive outlook on life and a healthy optimism that his big scheme will work out. Unfortunately, the longer he stays in that lighthouse the worse it gets for him. Livingston doesn’t understand what’s happening because, again, those ghost stories were just ghost stories, and stories are stories. Stories are not real life. And yet when elements of those stories start revealing themselves and Livingston finally figures out what’s going on, he’s just doomed. Livingston can’t get away. He tries, yes, valiantly, but the evil presence in the lighthouse manipulates him into going batshit crazy. Sheffer’s performance here will be talked about for years. It really is that intense and that memorable. I mean, he spends most of the movie alone in that lighthouse keeper’s quarters, acting against stuff that no one can see. That’s difficult to make consistently interesting, and Sheffer makes it look easy. Again, audiences are going to be talking about Sheffer’s performance in this movie for years, maybe even decades. Awesome, awesome stuff.

KateLynn E. Newberry is fascinating as Rosa, Livingston’s assistant. She really isn’t into Livingston’s publicity stunt but she goes along with it anyway. When she has to do more than watch the monitors she’s forced to come up with a solution to the problem, and so she brings in Dominic Luongo’s tech Andre. When he fails to come up with a reason for the dead monitors, Rosa doesn’t quit. She continues to look for a solution. I think you’ll be surprised at how her character arc ends. I knew how it would end for her, but watching the way it plays out was still surprising. Luongo does a great job as Andre, too. Andre is a cynical guy, but he isn’t so cynical you can’t stand him (I’ve never met a tech guy who wasn’t cynical). Perhaps, in a sequel, Andre will go on tour/write a book about that weird image that, maybe, could have been a ghost? I’d watch that movie.

Kaelin Lamberson, as I said earlier, does a fine job creeping out the audience with her singing, and she does a fine job in her largest screen role yet as Delaney Collins (she’s acted in several of her father’s previous movies but they were bit parts, nothing major). She does a great job interacting with Paul McGinnis and Kim Piazza, who play her parents, and she has some nice scenes with John Renna’s son, who also does a great job. If she decides to continue acting, she should have a bright future.

John Renna plays a difficult part as O’Leary, a man who comes off as potentially a gentle giant but who ends up doing some of the nastiest stuff in the movie. Renna also makes his character’s old time mustache not look ridiculous, as that easily could have happened (think of those 19th century weightlifters from Family Guy). I think it’s also obvious that, if there’s ever talk of a sort of “side sequel” to Widow’s Point, it has to be about O’Leary being a hammer wielding slasher stalker in modern times. I know people would watch that movie.

Michael Thurber does a nice job as the cantankerous lighthouse owner Parker. He comes off as a real bastard at first, but you realize as the movie progresses that this guy knows all of the stories and has seen some nasty shit in his time as the lighthouse owner. He isn’t being an asshole, he just wishes people would fucking listen to him. The Widow’s Point lighthouse is a terrible place. People have to sop going there, goddamit.

And then there’s Willow Anwar as Rebecca. She will goddamn scare you. That’s all I’m going to say about her performance. You will remember her. I know I will.

As for director Gregory Lamberson, I don’t know if it’s right to say that Widow’s Point is his best movie but it’s definitely right to say that Widow’s Point is his most accomplished movie to date. It’s slick, it moves swiftly, it’s entertaining as hell, and, as I said, it really gets under your skin. It’s scary in a way you’re not anticipating it to be, and when the movie is widely available it should find a wide audience because of that. The horror movie world will no doubt love it. It’s a masterpiece.

Widow’s Point is a wildly unnerving horror movie watching experience. It will get to you in ways you don’t think it will. It will scare you deep down. It’s a movie that you will never forget. If it’s playing at a film festival near you, make an effort to see it. You won’t regret it.

See Widow’s Point. See it, see it, goddamn see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 4

Undead bodies: 7

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: An aerial view of a large body of water, a lighthouse, multiple flashbacks, suicide by hanging, a wicked cool black van, keys, a door closes all by itself, a card game flashback, letter writing, multiple attacks via hammer, hammer to the head, a nightmare, video making, a long hallway, beer drinking, deliberate show removal, twisty steps, salty bottles of water, a camera story flashback, a creepy old chest full of creepy old shit, a rocking chair that rocks by itself, zombie ghost attack, a cave with weird stuff in it, a heap of human bones on the ground, ghost in the woods, a foot chase, face slapping, more salty water, a rolling baseball, power issues, rotted fruit, maggot filled sandwiches, endless steps, attempted ice eating, a “hand on the shoulder followed by a 360 camera move” sequence, attempted phone use, cell phone throwing, wind, a night scene, creepy singing, more cell phone throwing, a full on meltdown, the big reveal about what the hell is really going on, harpoon city, and an ending that will freak you the fuck out.

Kim Richards?: Big time. Jesus Christ.

Gratuitous: Drone footage, Craig Sheffer, Craig Sheffer doing a voiceover, Sam Qualiana, talk of the “Widow’s Point Curse,” Craig Sheffer driving a wicked cool black van, Michael Thurber, Paul McGinnis playing cards with Michael O’Hear, John Renna rocking a badass old time mustache, Kim Piazza, an attack on the Irish, KateLynn E. Newberry, Dominic Luongo, the scene that took three hours to shoot and it’s like 30 seconds in the actual movie, “DC” carved into the wood, messed up sandwiches, pizza and a beer, Billy Chizmar on top of the lighthouse, Alexander McBryde as a cop, Billy Chizmar screaming directly into the camera, a creepy old doll, Kaelin Lamberson singing “This Old Man,” Kim Piazza cutting fish, hide and seek, old checkers, “flash frame,” Craig Sheffer sleeping in a sleeping bag, a ’Salem’s Lot/Stephen King poster on the wall, Craig Sheffer getting some serious cardio work in, a full on meltdown, the big reveal about what the hell is going on, a Jake Helman Files cover on the wall, an ending that will creep you the fuck out followed by Kaelin Lamberson singing “This Old Man” again and inducing audio nightmares for decades to come.

Best lines: “And it shall come,” “How do you lose another human being?,” “Would you look at that? Wow,” “Well, I sure would like to share your story,” “Well, you know, divorce ain’t cheap and I need the money,” “Start squawking or I’ll paste ya!,” “It doesn’t look scary,” “Ah, art vs. commerce. I feel your pain,” “I will see you on Monday. If you say so,” “My God, it’s salty,” “You really want that best seller, don’t you?,” “Something is wrong here,” “There is no such thing as ghosts,” “Watch for poison ivy!,” “The lighthouse is playing games. This is a bad place. People aren’t meant to live here,” “Stay out! Don’t come in here!,” “Jesus! That’s even saltier than before!,” “And they have a photo of a ghost?,” “How about some breakfast? As long as it isn’t covered in maggots!,” “Do you hear that? I don’t hear anything. Exactly,” “Come on, you bitch!,” “Give me back my phone!,” “Somehow I lost an entire day. I know it’s impossible, but it happened,” “Someone wrote in my book,” “I came here for the money. Of course I did. It’s always about the money,” “This. Is. Madness,” “There’s evil in the walls. In the air,” “And it shall come. And it shall come. It’s coming,” “Delaney! You’re alive! I thought I killed you?,” “Am I to become one of you, then?,” “That thing will never take me alive!,” and “I’ll go call the constable.”

Rating: 10.0 /10.0


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Things to Watch Out For


John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum: Keanu Reeves is back as the badass assassin John Wick in Chapter 3-Parabellum, which picks up right after the events of John Wick: Chapter 2 and has Wick running all over the world, killing bad guys as he has a price on his head (among other things). This movie is so goddamn awesome and was easily one of the best, if not the best, movie theatre experiences of 2019. Halle Berry does a great job in it, as does action star Mark Dacascos, who gets to take on Wick in one brutal goddamn brawl. Check out my review of this action masterpiece here and then pick it up on home video to watch it again or for the first time. It’s must watch viewing of the highest order. John Wick 4 can’t get here soon enough!


The Dead Don’t Die: This sort of zombie comedy from writer/director Jim Jarmusch seemed to divide audiences upon its release this past summer. Some people really liked it and thought it was funny, while others seemed to hate it and called it too weird for its own good. I didn’t see it so I’m basically neutral on the movie at the moment. The trailers were funny, Bill Murray is in it, and it definitely looks weird. And while I can’t say that I’m a Jim Jarmusch fan, I will admit that his stuff is always interesting, even if it ends up not being very good. Definitely worth a rental, just to see if it’s good and worth buying or just interesting enough to see once.


Nekrotronic: This is apparently some sort of low budget Australian horror/sci-fi/action/comedy deal about a regular guy that, one day, finds out that he’s a member of some weird beard secret sect that hunts down demons and whatnot. The internets is also apparently involved somehow. The trailer is a hoot and the whole thing looks weird as hell, which makes it a must see, just to see if it lives up to its reputation. I think it looks cool, but at the same time I want to rent it to see if it’s as cool as it seems. The world doesn’t need another Jack Brooks: monster Slayer. Still, Monica Bellucci is in it, and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?


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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Widow’s Point

Craig Sheffer– Thomas Livingston
KateLynn E. Newberry– Rosa
Dominic Luongo– Andre
Kaelin Lamberson– Delaney Collins
John Renna– O’Leary
Michael Thurber– Parker
Willow Anwar– Rebecca
Kim Piazza– Abigail Collins
Paul McGinnis– Patrick Collins
Richard Satterwhite– Marshall

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Gregory Lamberson
Screenplay by Gregory Lamberson, based on the book Widow’s Point by Richard Chizmar and Billy Chizmar

Produced by Kwakutl Films

Runtime– 88 minutes