Séance (2006)

Lauren and her room mates stay at their dorm during Thanksgiving while all other students leave. Having nothing better to do than killing time, they conduct a séance to contact the ghost of a little girl Lauren keeps seeing. Accidentally, they summon the ghost of a maniacal serial killer instead and now it’s killing time!




Full plot:
Lauren, the main character of “Séance”, a bloody horror movie from 2006, is a college student who lives at the university dormitory “Chelsea Hall”, a former apartment complex. One night, when she and her two room mates Melina and Alison are asleep, she gets woken up by noises coming from the bathroom. She gets up to investigate and notices that the water is running and the shampoo bottles have been arranged in a circle on the bathroom floor.

She closes the water, pulls the shower curtain to the side and is met with a creepy sight: A little, pale girl who is letting out a silent scream. She throws Lauren to the ground and starts choking her. Lauren wakes up horrified, but realizes it was only a dream.

Back in reality, she hears the water running in the bathroom, just like in her dream. She is nervous, but goes into the bathroom to investigate, hoping not to see the same things as in her dream. To her horror, the shampoo bottles are indeed arranged in a circle on the floor. Before she can slide aside the shower curtain, her room mate Melina bursts into the room. Lauren tells her about the spooky activity and we learn that it is not Lauren’s first paranormal experience in the college dorm. Melina laughs it off and opens the curtain, revealing nothing but an empty bath tub.

The next day, we get introduced to Syd, a middle aged security guard, who spends most of his time at the front desk located at the entry of the building, observing young college girls and none caring for the safety of the students, by for example contacting someone to fix the elevator that has been broken for months.

Students are leaving for home due to Thanksgiving coming up – except for Lauren, Melina, Alison and her boyfriend Diego, as well as his roommate’s parrot and Grant, a loner who lives with them on the 9th floor of the building.

When they finally have the building all for themselves, the three girls decide to throw a little party, but lack alcohol to lighten up the mood. They know that Syd has a bottle in his desk and think of a way to distract him. Melina approaches him half naked, claims that their shower is broken and asks whether she can use the public shower next to his desk. Syd happily agrees and shortly after runs after her, into a broom closet next to the shower. He peeks through a hole in the wall into the shower and uses a mirror to get a better view.

Lauren and Alison run to his desk. Lauren picks the lock on the drawer and explains that her father has taught her to do that. They steal the bottle and run off.

Meanwhile, Syd gets an unwanted surprise: He sees something unexpected through the hole and drops the mirror, which breaks into many pieces. He runs back to his desk with an uncomfortable face expression. Soon after, Diego exits the shower, revealing that it was not Melina Syd was observing through the hole.

In the evening, the party takes off and they start riding bikes in the hallway. Lauren falls in front of Grant’s door, who immediately comes out and tells her to be silly somewhere else. Lauren is sad as she seems to have a crush on him. She later sneaks away from the group and brings Grant a piece of pizza as an apology. Grant takes it but has nothing more to say to her than “Good night”.

As Lauren walks away, the lights around her start flickering and the doors of the allegedly broken elevator open and close repeatedly. Grant appears behind her and reveals that he has seen the little girl as well. Together the two go to his room, which is filled many different kinds of pills. We learn that he is suicidal and that his parents think that to be happy you just need the right medicine.

He shows Lauren an article featuring the death of Cara Furia, a little girl living who lived in the building and died at the age of 9. It contains a photo of the little girl, who clearly looks exactly like the ghost Lauren and Grant keep seeing.

Grant explains that she moved into the building with her sister and her mother at the beginning of the 60s, before it was turned into a college dorm. Cara lived in room 9a, Lauren’s current room. Grant’s room was the room of the former building maintenance man, James Spence.

He continues to show her a footage of Cara appearing in thin air that he recorded, but before they get to the most impressive part, the images turn into white noise.

Lauren is relieved that she now has proof that she is not crazy and immediately wants to call her friends to see the footage, but Grant doesn’t want to turn his room into a freak show.

Lauren gets upset and runs back to the group. She tells them about the video, but as they are not allowed to see it, they are very skeptical towards her claims. Diego, who has recently written about practices to communicate with the dead in different cultures, suggests conducting a séance to test whether there is anything to Lauren’s words. As they have nothing better to do, they all agree to go through with it. They turn off the lights, set up candles and a cauldron and sit down in a circle, holding hands. Diego warns the group to not let go or the summoned ghost could take possession of one of them.

When the girls fail to take the séance seriously, Diego gets annoyed but continues to try to conjure up the ghost of Cara. When they get no reaction, they remember James Spence, the former maintenance man who used to live in Grant’s room. They call upon him and immediately the candles bursts into flames and the bathroom door starts banging back and forth violently. The group gets scared and together they run to the bathroom, where they see “NO” written on the mirror.

Suddenly, the lights go out and the candles extinguish. At this point, the viewer gets a glimpse of the ghost of James Spence standing in a dark corner, observing the unknowing group of friends. The lights turn back on and Spence becomes invisible again. Even after that experience, Lauren’s friends remain doubtful about a possible haunting.

They run down to Syd and ask him whether he noticed any light outage, but he just explains that the wiring, as well as the pipes malfunctioning in such an old, badly kept building is normal. Melina feels reassured in her skepticism and Lauren becomes further upset and feels ridiculed.

She runs away but stops when she hears a children’s song being whistled. She hides and we see that Spence is following her. After the whistling stops, she hears the same melody being played on a piano. She follows the music and ends up in a section of the building where Grant is playing a piano. She joins in and the two have a casual conversation. Lauren wonders why Cara seems to angry with them. She tells Grant about the séance and he points out that summoning Cara was pointless, as she is already here. Séances are for conjuring up ghosts that are not present.

Back in her room, an angry Melina is waiting. She is upset that everyone left her alone. She tells Lauren that the shampoo bottles are arranged in a circle once again and that now the bathroom mirror has “KILLER” written on it. The two girls are spooked, but assume that it is Diego playing a prank on them. They try to leave the room, but the door seems locked. Hidden from them, Cara is standing on the other side of the door. Only after they stop rattling the door, let go and back away, the door handle moves by itself, the door swings open and reveals an empty hallway.

Meanwhile, Diego and Alison roam around the building and try to find a room to get some privacy. Alison asks Diego for a condom and after a lot of whining he finally leaves her behind and goes to fetch one. As soon as he is gone, Spence appears before Alison, who has lied down with her eyes closed. He puts his hand over her eyes and she assumes it’s Diego, so she plays along at first. But soon she notices that something is wrong and screams for him to stop, all while Cara watches, while letting out a bizarre scream.

When Diego comes back with a condom, Alison is gone. He becomes angry and heads back to his room, but bumps into Spence, who observes him with creepily piercing, blue eyes while aggressively sweeping the floor with a broom. Diego is startled and rushes by him as fast as he can. As soon as he overtakes him, he takes a last look back and notices that Spence has vanished.

As soon he gets back to Lauren and Melina, they decide to search for Alison together and are joined by Grant. The room where Alison was last seen is still empty, but now has “KILLER” written on the walls and stickman drawings of a man holding a little girl’s hand, as well as a broom.

Before they can investigate any further, Syd shows up and orders them to go back to level 9. He dismisses their claims that anybody is in the building besides the group of students and himself and goes back to his desk.

On his way back, Syd hears noises coming from the public shower. He assumes that it is Alison and sneaks into the broom closet to spy on her. But instead of naked skin, an eye stares back at him. Syd falls back in shock and lands with his hand on the broken mirror. Bleeding, he runs to his desk to call for help, but instead the phone dies, along with the lights, revealing Spence behind him. He says “Die!”, before he strangles Syd with a metal wire, all while humming the same old children’s song melody.

In the meantime, Lauren keeps wondering why Cara is still around after 40 years and what she wants to tell them with “KILLER”. She convinces the still very skeptical Melina to use a Ouija board to get more answers.

When she asks what Cara wants from them, a dent appears on the bed, the room instantly becomes cold and the planchette starts moving under their fingers. Lauren asks whether Cara is with them and to tell them what happened to her, but instead of an answer, the Ouija board spells out “DIE”. After this unsettling message, the girls let go off the planchette and it starts going crazy on the board, before violently flying off. Melina has enough with dabbling with the occult and runs out of the room in a panic and slams the door, leaving Lauren alone.

Lauren runs after her, but when she opens the door, Cara stands in her way. Lauren gets paralyzed by fear, assuming that the threatening messages came from her. She starts stumbling backwards through the apartment, until she falls into the bathtub. Cara slowly approaches her and places the planchette in the middle of the circle made of shampoo bottles. Lauren grabs a knife and rips up the floor at that spot and finds a box containing photos depicting Cara with her sister, as well as a notebook.

Click here to unfold the remaining story (SPOILER WARNING)

When Lauren steps out of the bathroom, the world around her is transformed. She is back in the 60s, when the dorm was still an apartment building and Cara lived there. Cara’s sister is sleeping on the couch, while Cara is sitting on the bed in her room, with Spence sitting by her side. He is singing a children’s song, takes her by the hand and tells her to come with him. He orders her to be quiet or he would have to hurt her sister. They go out and down the corridor. Lauren gets hit by a vision seeing Spence holding a dead Cara. She screams at him, but is unable to stop them from walking into his apartment.

Lauren runs after them, but after she enters Spence’s apartment, she is back in the present and in Grant’s room instead. She shows the group the notebook, which contains an entries written by Cara. She wrote about Spence doing awful things to her, but being forbidden to tell anyone about them.

Grant digs up a news paper article about Spence, including a photo. Lauren and Diego immediately recognize him, but are shocked to learn, that he has died in 1973 on the electric chair because of the murder of five different girls from 5 different states.

The friends finally realize that they have conjured up Spence instead of Cara during their séance and that what Cara wanted to tell them all along was that he killed her. They are horrified at the thought that they have unleashed the ghost of a serial killer and try different phones to contact the police. All of them seem dead but then one phone after the other starts ringing. They pick up and hear the same melody being whistled.

Frantically, they run to Syd’s desk, but he is nowhere to be found. They get followed by Spence, who, as they finally find out, is only visible in darkness. They are desperate to get rid of him, but seem completely helpless until Diego remembers from his paper, that there are two ways to get rid of an unwanted ghost: Kill him the same way he died in life or get the ghost to possess a host, who you kill immediately.

They choose the latter option, as they don’t have an electric chair readily available. To provoke a possession, they conduct another séance. Once again, they sit down in a circle, holding hands. They place the parrot in the middle as the host and call upon Spence. He immediately shows up and starts walking around the group and manages to trick Diego by throwing a ball, which he catches out of reflex, breaking the circle. Chaos ensues and Diego eventually gets possessed. Grant tries to knock his head in with a hammer, with the girls screaming in horror. Diego dodges the attacks, but cuts his own throat, before collapsing in the bathtub and finally bleeding to death.

Lauren runs out of the room and runs into a blood soaked Alison who arrives in the broken elevator. Before she can help her, the doors close again and the elevator speeds down into the basement. Lauren, Melina and Grant run down and find her bound to the wall with metal wires that cut into her skin. They desperately try to free her, but suddenly the elevator above her starts dropping and ends up crushing her.

Traumatized, they roam around the basement to find the exit and find the next horrific sight: A blood soaked, but still alive Syd. They try to help him when Spence appears, making Grant flee and leave the girls alone. Spence drags away Syd and then Melina, who tries to fight him off, throwing things over in her struggle. She manages to rip a cable, which Lauren grabs and holds against Spence, electrocuting him until he collapses.

Lauren assumes that he is finally dead, but when Cara appears and signals her to be quiet, she realizes it’s not over yet. Lauren starts smashing all lamps to get a better view of him. Spence creeps up behind her, overpowers her and tries to strangle her. Grant tries to help, but gets possessed instead. He jumps down the elevator shaft and dies.

Lauren sees Cara walk down the corridor, where she dissolves in mid air, symbolizing that she finally has peace and can leave this world.

The next morning, a police man interrogates Lauren and is very skeptical towards her story, but agrees to take her to Cara’s sister, who is still alive.

When Lauren presents her with Cara’s box, she is visibly touched.

As the very last scene, you can see Syd being rolled out of the building. He opens his eyes, which are strikingly blue, just like the ones of Spence!

Kandis Erickson as Lauren
Tori White as Melina
Chauntal Lewis as Alison
Jack Hunter as Syd
A.J. Lamas as Diego
Joel Geist as Grant
Bridget Shergalis as Cara Furia
Adrian Paul as James Spence

Mark L. Smith

Séance (2006) on IMDB

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