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Sunday, June 7, 2020

THE HAUNTED (Film Review)

                                  Starring: Sophie Stevens, Nick Bayly, Ray MacAllan

                                              Directed by: David Holroyd


  There's literally nothing worse (at least for a film reviewer) than amping yourself up for something that looks extremely promising, only to leave you as disappointed as a kid on Christmas Day with a lump of reindeer crap in his stocking. Director David Holroyd's The Haunted isn't that lump of crap by any means - it's just the bitter sting of a stale payoff that will resonate as long as this title is on my tongue...anyone got a Tic-Tac to spare?

 The film's premise is as paint-by-numbers as one could get: Emily (Stevens) is a woman looking to make a little extra green, so she takes on the position of overnight caretaker to Alzheimer's patient Arthur (Bayly) in his faraway abode. He's bedridden for the most part, at least alluded to by his day nurses, who are all too happy to zip through the details of his care with a bit of gruffness before departing for the night. Before long Emily's left to her own devices and begins to wander Arthur's spatial estate, cracking doors and snooping to her heart's content...and we're all along to watch what seems like an eternal build-up. The only problem is that this never-ending hike up what seems like a thousand stairs literally runs you into a brick wall once you reach the top. With an infinite gaggle of creaking floors & doors, complimented by some shoddy flashlight work, you'd swear that the next big scare is right around the darkened, abandoned hallway, right?

 Well, I've got some news that a few of you might find a bit disconcerting: the scares are as light as the plot here, and this is certainly not yours truly saying that this wasn't an enjoyable presentation to mire myself in for 75 minutes just crapped out far too early into its runtime, and on this highway, there wasn't a gas station for miles. The home itself acted as enough of a tactic in which to creep out the audience, yet what seemed like the perfect placement for some bladder-rattling instances were simply set-pieces that had an open mouth but nothing to say. When the conclusion to this production is finally latched onto, at first you'll be scratching your skulls till the dead skin comes off, but when you ACTUALLY grasp at what has taken place, you'll probably utter a pained sigh and ask the question "that was it?" I normally pride myself on being a precision dissector of un-worthy films, but I genuinely wrapped this movie up with a bit of sadness in my soul. "What could be worthwhile ends in a blink and a blur, and we as the wanters of potential find what is bereft in its entirety." You like that quote, do ya? I made it up while waiting for something to occur in The Haunted.

FILM RATING: 2 out of 5

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