Excavations in Blackgate Prison commence to reopen an abandoned section of the jail, due to a sudden influx of new inmates. Both prisoners and guards start to die, apparently at their own hands. Detective Turner(Michael Pare) investigates, and discovers that their might be an altogether more sinister force at work, as he uncovers dark secrets about the prisons past.
When I watched the directors previous excursion into the horror genre 'Madhouse' I was greatly impressed. In fact, that film was one of the most inventive, clever horror films I had seen in quite a while. So I entered this film with very high expectations. Perhaps too high. Both films have buildings that house dark secrets. Both films are atmospheric and create quite a lot of tension. So, why was I dissapointed with Furnace?
Well, I think for a start that the cast didnt quite gel as a team. In Madhouse, there were great performances by Joshua Leonard and Lance Hendrikson, to name but two. Whilst everybody seems to be giving their all, there are no performances of such note to be found here. The plot is also a little contrived and muddled in this film, whilst in Madhouse, the labyrinthian twists and turns were entirely justified, in both tricking and teasing the audience.
It's no bad film by any means, but it does come across a little too much like the superior 80's horror Prison, and isnt half as entertaining. Still worth a watch though. 3 out of 5