In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
Charts one family's encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner's clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover. Now terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family. Written by
The story was first featured in the novel "In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting" written by Ray Garton. See more »
At the beginning of the film, the father mentions that he would look the house up on the Internet. The Internet was not widely used for consumer or commercial use during this time. The Internet did not become used for such commercial use until the mid to late 1990s. See more »
[telling a joke]
Doctor says to patient, "You have cancer and you have Alzheimer's." Patient says to doctor, "Wooo! At least I don't have cancer."
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People love a good ghost story, I know I do. Especially when it's said to be based on actual events. I think that makes it scarier, brings it closer to home. There have been a number of films like this that have partially or sometimes even completely succeeded. The 1979 version of 'The Amityville Horror' is no masterpiece, but is not lacking in good chills and real characters to root for and identify with. Same goes with the 1991 TV movie 'The Haunted.' Even 'Poltergeist,' which isn't based on a true case, is very real in it's characters and situations.
Lately though, movies about ghosts and haunted dwellings have been mediocre at best. Using a lot of the exact same ways to scare the audience that have gotten beyond tiresome. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a good jump scare here and there, but when you start to rely on them you lose credibility and the audience will likely lose interest. This latest addition isn't much different, but it does try to rise above that. It's an admirable attempt and not a total waste of ones time, but it just doesn't go quite far enough.
Pros: A fine cast that gives it's all. A good horror score that gives the fright scenes the extra oomph they need. Nice, crisp cinematography. Excellent work on the make-up and visual effects. Some really scary images. Though not as good as the films I mentioned above, this one is still pretty grounded in reality. The pace is slow, but steady and never drags. The house is eerie and a perfect location for a haunted house.
Cons: Clichés galore. Most of the scares are far too tame to have any big affect. Some of the dialogue, especially for Elias Koteas, is poor and makes the actors look bad. No real surprises. Too many underdeveloped characters.
Final thoughts: Worth a rental, but not the big bucks you pay at the local cinema. There are far better ghost/haunted house movies out there than this, but you could still do worse. If you really want to see it that badly, just wait for DVD.
My rating: 3/5
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