Purgatory House (2003)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Neophyte director/producer Cindy Baer helms the quirky goth afterlife drama Purgatory House, written by the prodigious 14-year-old scenarist Celeste Davis (who also stars). Davis plays Silver Strand, a backward teen who, disgusted with her status as a social pariah and unfulfilled goth hopeful, decides to off herself. She winds up in a purgatory realm that resembles a sketchy juvenile-delinquency home, watched over by Saint James, a caretaker perpetually dressed in a white suit (and played by Tom Hanks' younger brother, Jim Hanks). Once there, Silver must watch the activities of her Earthbound friends on the "Earth TV" network, and is forced to wear the same clothes and makeup over and over again.
R (for drug content)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Jim Hanks
as Saint James
Celeste Davis
as Silver Marie Strand
Devin Witt
as Atticis
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Purgatory House

All Critics (5)

The names of Cindy Baer and Celeste Davis belong on the V.I.P. list of promising new filmmakers

Full Review… | January 30, 2005
Film Freak Central

There's a lack of polish and, more importantly, an uninhibited demeanor to Davis's script which work well for the subject matter

Full Review… | November 1, 2004

A charming, touching, clever and all-around brilliantly crafted film about teen suicide.

September 30, 2003
Film Threat

Natural Born Killers with heart.

Full Review… | September 30, 2003
Entertainment Insiders

A fairly compelling movie, but when one realizes that the screenplay was penned by a 14-year-old gal...it adds a whole new perspective to all the angst being tossed around.

Full Review… | September 29, 2003

Audience Reviews for Purgatory House

Summary: A film about a teen girl who commits suicide and ends up living in purgatory. The Good: This film is very ambitious, and pretty good being that it was written by a 14 year old. It is definitely not your average same old boring movie, it breaks the mold and is surprisingly original. For being very low budget the acting is decent (with exceptions), story is solid, and though the soundtrack is completely just popular songs performed by unknown cover-bands, it still sounds good. The Bad: I didn't really like the visual style of the film. I think it probably would have been better if I streamed in HD but I do think it was better than having no visual style at all. Ratings: Acting: 6/10 Story: 6/10 Originality: 7/10 Soundtrack: 7/10 Characters: 4/10 Overall: 6/10

Professor Wizenhymer
Professor Wizenhymer

Super Reviewer


I don't really know what to say about it. It deals with a very deep, emotional subject. I say with being written by a 14 year old it really is quite powerful and eye opening. I give it a thumbs up even though it's not the cream of the crop.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

To really appreciate this movie you need to understand it was written and starred in by a 14 yr old. Watching the special features will help put this movie into perspective. Overall I was happy to have watched Purgatory House, but knowing the context and assenting to its quirky way is paramount to being able to enjoy the experiece. Compared to many Hollywood movies Purgatory House was no masterpiece. The acting was blocky, maybe in part due to the script, the special effects a bit cheesy, and the film quality at best was slightly above video. However the concept was interesting, as was the psychological peek into such a young and vibrant mind. I was pleased to see this young girl achieve so much growth in such a short period of living. Kudos for the director who mentored "silver" with such encouragement. It really shows how much we can affect the world for the better by just a bit of loving effort.

Paul Fratianni
Paul Fratianni

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