6.2/10
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81 user 22 critic

Haunted (1995)

R | | Drama, Horror | 18 June 1996 (USA)
Professor David Ash is invited to Edbrook to calm the fears of the elderly nanny of the Mariell family. Nanny Tess is seeing things, and Ash's book debunking such phenomenon makes him a ... See full summary »

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(novel), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Prof. David Ash
...
...
Robert Mariell
...
Doctor Doyle
...
Nanny Tess Webb
Alex Lowe ...
Simon Mariell
...
Kate
Victoria Shalet ...
Juliet Ash
...
Madame Brontski
...
Old Gypsy Woman
Peter England ...
Young David
Alice Douglas ...
Clare
...
Elderly Lady
Edmund Moriarty ...
Liam
...
Mary
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Storyline

Professor David Ash is invited to Edbrook to calm the fears of the elderly nanny of the Mariell family. Nanny Tess is seeing things, and Ash's book debunking such phenomenon makes him a good choice to set her mind at ease and convince her she is just tired and stressed. But soon after arriving David too begins to doubt his senses, and watching the odd behavior of the three grown Mariell children doesn't make his task any easier. In fact, he begins to think Nanny Tess isn't really just tired and stressed out after all. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Supernatural Tale of Love and Mystery See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Irmandade do Mal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The steep cobble-stoned street used twice in the first ten minutes is Keere Street in Lewes (East Sussex), See more »

Goofs

At one point Christine removes her dress then jumps from the dock into the water. Several wide shots show the entire dock and several feet of ground leading to the dock. Unless she tossed the dress into the water it should be seen in the dock, but it isn't. See more »

Quotes

Prof. David Ash: Miss Webb, I have been to hundreds of houses, countless seances, and I have never yet seen something that can't be explained in rational terms. The people I've met all have one thing in common; pain.
Nanny Tess Webb: I thought you came to help me.
Prof. David Ash: Miss Webb, I am trying to help you.
Nanny Tess Webb: You mean to tell me that you see nothing?
Prof. David Ash: I see nothing. But the point is, you do. And if you just give me a few simple details, I intend to prove to you that there's nothing in Edbrook House to be afraid of.
Nanny Tess Webb: There are spirits in ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Legend of Hell House (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

But Not For Me
Lyrics and Music by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
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User Reviews

Despite some strong merits and a wonderfully radiant Beckinsale, the film never fully succeeds as romance or as horror.
2 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

Rating: ** out of ****

Haunted is probably a slightly better movie than I'm giving it credit for, but after having seen so many similarly themed supernatural dramas the past few years, this one just didn't have the impact on me it could have had if I'd seen it back in '95. So take that into account for both my rating and my review.

Set mostly in the English countryside in the early 1900s, Aidan Quinn stars as David Ash, a professor who spends his time debunking the supernatural. His latest investigation takes him to a country manor occupied by three siblings (two brothers and a sister played by the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale) and their housekeeper, who claims the estate is haunted.

Initially, the strangest oddities Ash notices is the pseudo-incestuous way the siblings act around each other; the older brother paints the sister, Christina, in the nude, and she and the younger brother often go skinny-dipping in the lake together. Still, Ash finds himself falling for the lovely Christina, even as he ponders the history of the manor, its occupants, and the secret behind this haunting.

By most standards, Haunted is not a bad movie. In fact, it's got plenty of merit. The cinematography and locations are beautiful, the pacing is rather brisk despite the fact very little actually happens on-screen, and Kate Beckinsale is so breathtakingly gorgeous it's hard to believe a person could be so naturally luminous. I would wager anyone new to the genre would probably enjoy the movie quite a bit.

But as someone expecting something innovative or original, the film just didn't do it for me. From the beginning, the climactic twist is blatantly obvious, and unlike the later films this twist inspired, it's not structured in such a manner that you'd gain a new appreciation of the film by re-observing the hints.

While I gather that the film is partly a romantic drama, the tone and atmosphere are a little too light, such that when the film does attempt its scares they never fully work (this is the kind of horror movie that'd work well for those who generally don't like horror). It surely doesn't help that few of the characters even seem concerned the manor might be haunted.

But as a romantic drama, the film is a moderate success. Aidan Quinn makes a likable enough protagonist and Kate Beckinsale is not only a physically wondrous presence (I would have been inclined to bump the rating up if her nude scenes had been genuine), she's immensely charming and appealing as well. There's enough solid chemistry between the two to sustain a large portion of the film.

But even this story stumbles pretty badly once it intersects with the haunted manor plot, both leading to an unsatisfying ending. Come to think of it, even if I had seen the film in its initial release, the twist might have worked as a genuine surprise, but it really harms the film more than it helps, so perhaps it makes little difference the twist is so obvious.

I have little regret of the time and money I spent to watch the film; it's still going to be required viewing for Beckinsale fans (like myself) who'll watch her in just about anything. But with so many superior entries in the genre, the film otherwise wouldn't be worth mentioning without her.


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