Robert Englund, whose Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street is rightly one of horror's most iconic characters, was my main reason for seeing Kantemir. He has been in quite a number of stinkers or not-so-good movies in recent years, but always gives his all no matter what.
Kantemir does have a few good things in its favour. It does look good (which to be honest was not expected, considering the reputation with low-budget movies looking cheap or even amateurish) with a real Gothic charm, some real atmosphere in the lighting, clever use of colours and photography that seldom looks cheap. It also has a good music score that sets the mood very nicely.
Unfortunately, that is where the redeeming qualities for Kantemir end. One does have to credit Englund for playing a role different to usual, for him this is restrained stuff, and shows that he does have more to him than having a wormy character, and although he does give the movie's best performance his underwritten role and very cliché dialogue is quite frankly beneath him and although he does try, he is somewhat too reserved and doesn't do anything to distinguish what he's been given (which is in all honesty worthless for any actor with any talent). The very less known names are no better, Justine Griffiths looks pretty but phones it in and there is a lot of forced overacting, Daniel Gadi's overplayed smugness is particularly annoying. The characters have no development and just as little personality, they are just there.
The script is incredibly hackneyed and never sounds natural and with an increasing lack of rhythm. Even more of a problem is the story, which has to be the movie's biggest problem, there is very little to it, often it is uneventful, and much of it is very tedious with no suspense whatsoever and just as little mystery. A decent idea, quite a unique premise considering the budget, but with nothing of note done with it.
Overall, looks good but very dull stuff and does nothing with Englund's talents, which is unforgivable really. 3/10 Bethany Cox