A Haunting in Salem (Video 2011) Poster

(2011 Video)

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The horror? Where was it?
Paul Magne Haakonsen25 October 2011
Based on the image on the DVD cover, I was looking forward to this movie, because it really did look interesting on the cover. Just goes to prove, don't just a movie by it's cover, eh? And also that it were to take place in legendary Salem.

While watching it, it because painstakingly clear that this movie was not really all that great. The story was good enough, though there really wasn't anything new to be seen here. Nothing to revolutionize the horror genre. So don't expect to be surprised and be sitting in awe.

The one thing that this movie had going on for it, was the atmosphere. The house itself was really nicely done, lots of really great details here, and they had managed to carve out a really greet feel to the house and its surrounding. Old houses are genuinely creepy.

As for the cast, well I didn't recognize a single one here. And in itself that was good enough, because I enjoy watching a movie with new faces in it. However, the bad thing was that there were no really overly convincing performances here. It was as it almost all people were in this movie half-heartedly. The most memorable, though, were the two teenagers; Jenna Stone and Nicholas Harsin.

My low rating of this movie is because it just wasn't scary. The movie trotted on at a really slow pace, despite things happening, what happened wasn't scary. It was a dread to look at sometimes, because I wished more scary stuff would happen. There was only a single time in the entire movie that I got spooked, and without saying too much, then it was the scene where the sheriff was laying down on the bed to go to sleep.

And one thing did puzzle me. What was the thing with the sheriffs and having to douse everything in gasoline to torch it all down when they found their families dead? I am pretty sure that kind of behavior is not what people do, much less trained police men, in such situations. That was just downright ridiculous.

If you like horror movies, then "A Haunting in Salem" is not really a great choice, because you will be sorely disappointed.
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A Television style film, but still fun.
trnjamesbond28 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, okay, I know my rating is a little high. But you can't view this film if you are wanting to see great creepy scenes with lots of ghosting going on. This film just reminds me of an old fashion Stephen King mini-series like I use to watch back in the day.(Before HDTV satellite got so popular, and even those films were not that great, looking back on them now) The acting in this film is pretty solid, but still, it's kind of fun to watch the story unfold. Like I said I'd say it's maybe ABC television quality, but it still has some merit as a good little watch.

If your looking to see a massive budgeted horror/spook flick your in the wrong place. It's just a film that you would want to watch if nothing is on television.

The acting in this film is almost too good for the simple story line, and I think that's what ruins it a little. These actors and actresses need to be in a bigger budget film. But all in all it's a simple story with 1990's low budget television horror quality.

I think some of the very few "Ghost Faces" were well done, especially when the "New" Sheriff roles into bed with his wife and turns off the lamp and then turns back towards his wife to only see a disgusting rotting slimy corpse next to him.

The only downfall is that I kept getting the daughter and the mother mixed up, they both look the same age. That's my main complaint. Also the son is kind of a bad actor.(Not that I could do better) But they could of picked a teenage male with a little more talent. He just seemed to be a little too fake for me.

In turn, I'd say this film should be viewed in the mindset of not taking it too seriously, and just letting it role. No it's not a giant budget film, and the quality is not the best.(TV movie grade) But it still is worth a watch. I gave it a 6 out of 10 because of it's basic story line. It's simple and to the point if your in the mood for a no- brainer.

Thanks for reading

Jeffrey J Turner Sarnia Ontario Canada
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Over all!
dkhyden201022 October 2011
I really honestly don't know what to say. Do I start with the special effects? Or do I go on with the whole written story. Both were terrible, as well as choosing the sheriff who completely resembles DOBY from Harry Potter. I found this to be more of a comedy than horror! I am not saying looks are everything but I believe in casting people that are somewhat attractive on screen, sorry to say DOBY was not. I will say the previews were great, which of course got me to watch. Good editing on that part. I can say that the house was beautiful. The only other problem i have is that the movie cover on this site resembles nothing about what this movie is really like. I hope to see a better horror next time.
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Haunted by mediocrity
robertbnewman786 December 2011
Sheriff Wayne Downs(Bill Oberst Jr.) wears his pants pretty high,unfortunately though,not high enough to hide his dreadful acting.He has potential as a villain but his casting as a leading man in this story was idiotic especially as his wife(Courtney Abbiati)was unbelievably hot. Although she was some welcome eye candy,Abbiati was more wooden than the surrounding structure and provided some strange inappropriate smiles at the wrong times as though she was reading the words but failing to put them into the context of the film. To say the shocks were hackneyed would be putting it mildly,(how many times can an image in a mirror reflection be used?)the directing was unimaginative and seemed to be read from a DIY horror manual. Ironically the star of the show was the inanimate object,the house,although the two teenagers(Jenna Stone and Nicholas Harsin)did their best,Stone was pretty good in fact. The most damning indictment of this film is the fact that the house and the grounds were the most fertile spawning ground for horror imaginable. Every sprawling beam and arched design screamed of southern Gothic and hidden secrets. This proves to be of detriment to the film as the lightweight acting seems to melt into the glorious background creating an oddly vacuous feeling. More atmosphere in space.
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pretty good movie actually
dutchchocolatecake8 October 2013
The Asylum's reputation proceeds itself, and for good reason; but this movie is a pleasant surprise. The acting is good; the mood, music, and setting is good. The plot is a little fast, IMO, but it still presents itself as a fair psychological thriller.

I have no idea why people are trashing on this movie. Yes, the Asylum comes out with some horrible movies but this is NOT one of them. This movie has far more class than most of the other ones.

I am a fan of Paranormal Entity, so it didn't surprise me that Shane Van Dyke directed this one too. I don't know why the Asylum doesn't allow him to direct all their movies. They'd be a respectable B-lister movie company if they did.
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Not Bad!!
jane_ostrowski1 August 2012
I am a thriller/horror movie freak!!! And this movie was no way near as bad as some people are making out. For months I avoided this movie in blockbuster due to the low ratings but i finally decided to get it and judge for myself.

I found it quiet interesting and there were a few scenes that made me jump! The acting was okay. Definitely not the worse I've seen from watching many many horror movies. The movie was filmed nicely. The music was just right. The movie definitely kept me interested the whole time and trying to work out exactly what was going on.

Yes there were a few corny scenes but nothing to turn me off the movie completely. I give this movie a 7 out of 10
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naroarhelce23 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
If Pete and Repeat were in a boat and Pete jumped in the water...Who is left? Yeah. Just about as exciting as that joke. It'd be a good movie to sit around and make fun of or scare jumpy people. But for horror buffs, its all the same stuff we've seen before but insulting the Salem witch hunt. Fun stuff. Basically, a lot of camera views where at first there's nothing, but then suddenly there's a face! Ahh! It has some creepy moments, i'll admit, but nothing that will keep me up at night. The main character, the sheriff, has a bit of a neat persona in the movie which is slightly entertaining BUT I did give the movie a 5. I've definitely seen better.
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Super boring and annoying as hell.
Jan Strydom12 April 2012
Basically what you have in A HAUNTING IN SALEM is one very boring movie, the plot consist of a new sheriff moving into a new house with his family located in the little town Salem, where strange things start to happen and soon the sheriff realizes their new home is haunted by vengeful spirit.

If I give more of a synopsis I would spoil the film but this thing is so unoriginal and predictable its not even funny and what's worse, the pacing is so slow I thought the pause button on my DVD player was stuck, the acting however was painfully bad, the guy in the lead role was totally missed cast, even though I have seen a few ugly guys with hot wives and great looking kids so its not unusual but this guy just didn't look right for the part and you can tell he's not very comfortable in the lead role and the rest of the cast are just annoying, plainly put.

Of course this film is directed by Shane Van Dyke who also did TITANIC 2 and this is only what I heard, this guy doesn't give a crap about the casting or the acting, he just slams a film together and isn't too concerned with how it turns out, which could be true since the absolute worst films from Asylum are directed by him and they also include PARANORMAL ENTITY(a rip off of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and an early 80's horror film called THE ENTITY) and a western called 6 GUNS if that's the correct title.

All in all, I recommend you pass on this one it'll just put you to sleep or annoy the hell out of you.
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One very dull haunting
TheLittleSongbird8 September 2013
In regard to Shane Van Dyke's other Asylum projects, A Haunting in Salem is not as wretched as Titanic II(his best is 6 Guns, which still was mediocre at best). A Haunting in Salem is still very poor however, and shows that generally Van Dyke is far from a good director. His direction has a very slapping things together sort of quality and with no subtlety or skill, in short amateurish. But there are other things outside of Van Dyke's directing that makes A Haunting in Salem as bad as it is. It does look as though it was made in a rush, with slapdash special effects and make-up that is even less convincing than badly done children's face paintings. The dialogue doesn't have sense of life, flow or sense, and the actors certainly seemed to think so because apart from Jenna Stone(the only halfway decent thing about the entire movie) they give incredibly half-hearted performances. Bill Oberst Jnr doesn't deserve the unfair personal comments he's gotten but as an actor here he shows little charisma or passion. The story was especially bad here, that it's slow-moving wouldn't have been a problem if the scares were interesting and the storytelling compelling enough. But because the scares are so predictable and the story so lacking in tension, horror, suspense, thrills or fun the pacing just felt interminably dull, so it was difficult to maintain interest. All in all, a real bore and a poorly done movie all round excepting Stone. 1/10 Bethany Cox
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run-of-the-mill haunted house movie
tdeladeriere11 March 2012
A couple and their two kids move into a beautiful house with a dark past. The beautiful, Victorian mansion witnessed a murder 50 years ago and this family will soon realize that they may be next on the cursed list.

You saw this movie ten times before, most notably a few years ago or 30 years ago if you're older, with "Amityville". The story and template remain the same in most B-movie spawns of the (already passable) original and "A Haunting in Salem" is no exception. The couple have silent unresolved issues, the eldest daughter hates the house, the realtors obviously know something and with each new manifestation, the family deteriorates.

Along with the by-the-books script, the casting here is the main problem. The mismatched couple never look like they've shared more than a few months together, even though they have two kids. The wife is much too good-looking for her husband and there's not one spontaneous sign of love throughout. Also, there's no interaction between the kids, so you're left with 4 characters that just don't gel.

On the plus side, the show moves rather briskly, with barely a dead moment once the characters are established, and the cinematography looks professional. As previously mentioned by another reviewer, this would make a nice TV movie-of-the-week. In other words, it's slick but sorely lacks ambition.
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Horrible film
frompkin28 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a terrible film. One, it's not actually filmed in Salem (a minor quibble, but you'd think they'd hide the orange trees in the yard). Two, it's not scary. Third, and finally, the production values were horrible. For example: the sheriff is digging in the yard and it's daylight, while the mother comforts the daughter at the same time and the windows are completely dark (as in, it's night time). Additionally, why kill the historian? She shows up twice; once to hand out a "welcome packet" to the family, and when she returns, boils her face in water and then the body disappears. Why?? She must have been dating someone or just needed the screen time to get credit or something. The actors did a decent enough job with the material, but the editing was bad, the script was bad.. I wouldn't even recommend this for "bad movie night".

In the end, the film comes off as a college project, not a sequel to the "A Haunting in.." series. The concept was good, but I can definitely see why this film went straight to video. It was pretty much craptastic. Better luck to all the actors in their future endeavors, and hopefully they can stay away from this kind of drek in the future. I guess everyone has to start out somewhere.
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Little Storyline, Little Scare
areneehunt6 February 2018
Anytime you have a story set in Salem, you naturally expect witches, fire and dark magic. In A Haunting in Salem, you get the witch, dark events and a bit of burning. From the movie's DVD cover, it says this story was taken from actual events, so was real life as scary as fiction? The plot centered on the new sheriff of Salem and his family, who've moved into a sweet, Victorian home. It's excessively large, even for four people, but it'd been the dwelling of every sheriff who'd presided over the town for years. While unpacking, everyone experienced strange and unexplainable occurrences, but soon, the entire family is in mortal danger. Sadly, there' s not a soul around who can help with truth, let alone answers. The story presents a cycle; the very beginning shows you what happened to the previous family, then the new sheriff, complete with mental issues, came along. What you aren't given is a reason for it all. Was it revenge? Had the previous sheriffs carried a blood connection, allowing the townspeople to invite them, as a sort of sacrifice? It ended, gifting wonder as to why it even happened. The cinematography, concerning the town and surrounding views were spectacular! Even the house was lovely, but there really wasn't much as far as storyline. With little scare, A Haunting in Salem entertained, but disappointed. Cheers!

A Haunting in Salem Written by H. Perry Horton Directed by Shane Van Dyke Produced by The Asylum Stars Bill Oberst, Jr., Courtney Abbiati, Jenna Stone and Nicholas Harsin
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Decent enough if still troubling somewhat
GL8425 November 2016
Arriving in a small town, a sheriff and his family find the new house they've moved into is the home to a ravenous ghost that was initially burned alive as a witch in the town's past and tries to get them out of the creature's wrath before succumbing to its rampage.

This here wasn't that bad of an effort. One of the better features here comes from the film taking place in the typically creepy and chilling house which manages to utilize a great mixture of both the classic and more modern elements. The main house, full of the creaking wooden hallways and panels, sharp corners and the general air of history seeping through the walls really looks like the appropriate old- school, historically chilling house that maintains a suitable setting for the modern appliances that are at play here. Those more modern influences, from their ability to interact with the teens over the computer messenger or appearing to manipulate their visions, really begins to drive him insane as these tactics come off really well. These deliver some great hauntings as the scene of them pulling the hair from the shower drain with a tooth embedded in it, the gagging daughter hallucination or the different flash visions that keep occurring around the house showing them strung u in a hanging-style scenario which springs up quite often here to torment him. These scenes here provide the great framework for the actions leading up to the big finale in the actions of the possessed over the rest of the family which gives this one some great scenes of her utilizing the supernatural antics to attack and torment the others by popping up around them or launching attacks that are really much more impressive than expected to generate some nice bloody deaths immersed into the fine action. These here are what really works, though there's a few flaws to be found here. The biggest issue to be found is the really weak and half-hearted storyline that manages to be quite a cliché as well as goes for the cop-out explanation of everything which makes for a wholly simplistic affair. What should've been a thrilling exploration of the history of the house and the things going bump inside is instead glossed over in such a quick fashion that it really loses a lot of potential here by simply spelling everything out in one quick scene gives this one quite a lame buildup. It really could've given this one a greater sense of fear and suspense had this one gone for a more realistic route that allowed for the film to pace itself a little more. Even more to the point is the way this one goes for the overly familiar route of the ghostly haunting being presented here, from the troubled figure driven insane by what's going on to the point of madness against the disbelief of his family, the townsfolk who know it all and the ghosts coming back to seek revenge on such wrong-doers which gets targeted by their rampage all being quite familiar elements that are at play here, and all told the story here is quite disappointing. As well, the low-budget look here is another factor to hold this one back, from the cramped-in feeling of the house and the early attack scenes to the CGI and the effects in general this one tends to have the low-budget feel that's hard to get over. These here are the film's flaws.

Rated R: Language and Violence.
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Apparent burn victim Sheriff and his inexplicably hot wife move into a haunted house, die.
Anthony-M-Stark20 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, what a cinematic experience this was. There were a few things wrong with this movie that prevented me from enjoying it, primarily the story, cast and set. I'm a straight male, so I'm usually indifferent to an actor's appearance, but I couldn't get past the fact that the lead actor looked like a flesh-muppet in a fright wig, wearing his dad's oversize sheriff costume. The victims are supposed to be living in a home from the 1600's in Salem, Mass., but there is clearly an orange tree in the background, and the house looks to be from the Victorian period. Practically every victim is murdered by stabbing, but when their bodies are found they are actually hung. I'm pretty sure that was an unnecessary hassle, even for ghosts. There were a few scares, but the type of scares I get by yelling boo at my dog. In fact, they should have named this movie, "Boo! You're dead!", and they could have avoided the whole 'obviously not Salem' problem. I could elaborate about the various ridiculous plot holes, the cheesy makeup, the shoddy foley work, (like in the climactic scene, where the possessed daughter's bat makes a swinging noise before she actually swings), but why run up the score? This was just a dumb movie. Not the guilty pleasure type of dumb, either.
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Cheap haunted house fare from The Asylum
Leofwine_draca19 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A HAUNTING IN SALEM is an indie-style haunted house flick put out by The Asylum. A sheriff and his family move into an old house and it soon transpires that the place is haunted with all manner of weird stuff taking place, ranging from sickness to visions to violent and gory deaths. Sadly, the whole thing plays out in an ordinary and predictable fashion, with the usual gamut of poor writing and bad acting. I did enjoy seeing indie regular Bill Oberst Jr. in the lead role, but the rest of the cast make no effort and there's no real sense of momentum or suspense here, making this a tough film to sit through.
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The Amityville Shining.....
FlashCallahan14 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Downs family move to Salem so that Wayne can start his new job as the town Sheriff.

They move in to an old house that has a macabre history, witches were hanged there in the 1600's.

There's an urban legend that a family were killed in the same house years earlier.

After a while the Downs family discover that there's more to the legend and to the house than the towns people are letting on..

So it's half Amityville, and half the Shining, it's nowhere as good as either of those movies, but also it's nowhere as near as bad as what the critics are saying.

It's rarely scary, and the film does consist of the lead actor (who looks like a bargain Viggo Mortensen) running around the house trying to get away from all the bad acting and the constant vomiting of his daughter.

Obviously she is ill so weird thins happen to her, and then she becomes evil, but it will look like the Sheriff will get the blame, because all the sheriffs who live in that house turn evil.

Maybe the Mayor (who looks like a bargain basement Jeffrey Wright) should have changed the locale.

So all in all, it's not scary, baseball bat sounds are out of synch, and the village idiot has a stutter.

I've seen worse, not many though.
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maineguy_040055 February 2012
The casting of tie was terrible, they couldn't have found a better looking actor to play the Sheriff? That guy was ugly and couldn't act. Secondly, that location WAS NOT Salem, MA!! I don't even think it was New England. The house shown on the cover and the house in the movie weren't even the same and both homes are Victorian, built c. 1892, not in 1692!!!! I almost laughed myself silly when the Mayor said it was built in 1692. None of the actors could act, the plot was horrible, there was no background, no reason to like these people, they were just plain stupid! Over all, this is one of the worst "horror" movies ever made!
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Please read before watching this film!
Seosamh W10 January 2012
Like most of us that frequent sites such as IMDb, you'll find that we all share the love of film.

Historically I always liked to give a film the benefit of the doubt,and usually disregard others opinions/reviews of said film until I have seen it for myself at the very least.

In regards to this specific film,I can categorically state that this has to be the very worst film I have ever seen to date.

Within the first few minutes of the film it became apparent that this was going to be a very tedious 86 wasted minutes of my life, the acting is terrible across the board, and the story itself is so unbearably slow and shallow,without any attention to detail or character background.

Not to mention the leading role being cast to a Dobby (House-elf type thing from Harry Potter) doppelganger.


One thing this film has taught me is to perhaps start taking heed of other peoples reviews.

A lesson has been learnt today.
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Very Funny..A Comedy not a Horror Movie Spoiler Alert
ylwashington9 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is a Spoiler, so please do not read, if you don't want to know the movie plot. I was in the mood for some good old scare the sh$$ out of me night. The title looked pretty interesting, so we thought we give it a try. When I saw the mismatch of the husband and wife, i knew this was gonna be an interesting movie. That pretty much bothered me, but i said. oh well, maybe this guy knows the director or something. The first 15 minutes were cool and I was really into it. The IM conversation that the daughter was having with Salem, started to get on my nerves and I thought that point was useless. Not sure what type of computer she has, where it cuts on and off by itself like that. The day and night scenes all in the same take was obvious bloopers and editing issues. The chic coming in the house and killing herself with the extremely fast boiling water scene, should have been cut out. Not one time, did anyone ever find her body in the Kitchen, nor did the scene or lady ever come back up in the movie. Very bad editing...The part that really did it for me was when the wife was hanging by the rope towards the end of the movie and the husband comes in there to pour gas on her and hug her..Her eyes are blinking and I just died laughing at that point..I mean, please cut that scene out and let her get some blinks in, if she can't keep her eyes closed long enough..LMAO..Also, not sure, how the husband fell from three floors and gets up and walks around again. The previous husband in the beginning of the movie, had the same fall and he died. Anyhow, great Comedy and not horror. Enjoy..
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a great pattern of a failing cinematography
petit7616 July 2012
This movie is a flat-out a big time waster. I really did not know what the director of this movie up to while helming it. The scenery starts off on the wrong foot by depicting somewhere not Salem as Salem. There are orange trees in the yard and I wonder if they have any geographical knowledge regarding the growth of oranges. I never knew and would never ever know Salem had actually the Mediterranean climate where you can grow oranges and bananas. Anyway I don't even find it necessary to even blabber things about this movie cause nothing is plausible. Poor acting and poor directing. The plot holes are too deep you can drive a dirt bike through. I would never ever recommend this movie to my worst arch enemy. I don't even know what the director thought with the lead cast of this movie. It is absolutely the worst scary movie ever . 0.1 out of 10.00
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The Asylum does it again
movieman_kev19 April 2012
It's another Asylum film, that's all you need to know. However, being that IMDb doesn't allow such shot reviews, let me elaborate, even if it's to my chagrin. A man and his family move into a haunted house and 'spooky' stuff happens. That's the long and short of it. The acting's utterly awful across the board (barely reaching the heights of say that of a middle school play), the film runs in drunken meandering circles and it isn't long at all until quasi-suicidal tedium sets in. So in other words simply what one would expect from the Asylum. Avoid it like the festering cinematic hemorrhoid that it is. The kicker is that THIS complete dud is actually one of the Asylums better films...

My Grade: F+
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A Haunting in Salem: Seen it all before
Platypuschow19 August 2017
A haunting in Salem is anything but original. Full of your standard horror tropes and clichés you'll have seen every bit of it before but done a whole hell of a lot better.

Telling the story of a Sheriff and his family moving into a house with a dark past connected to witches (It is Salem after all) You'll see every scene coming a mile off and despite the budget very little of it even looks remotely good.

The Good:

Courtney Abbiati

The Bad:

Clichéd everything

Things I learnt from this movie:

A throw from a 3 story window will merely wind you
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Boring movie
natbro17 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was hopeful at the start but my head was saying pick another movie. I wish I had trusted my instincts. My husband on the other hand walked out within the first 10 minutes. A Haunting In Salem is a boring movie with boring actors. If you want a good horror then this is not the movie to watch. If you are hoping for something similar to The Amityville Horror then you will be sadly disappointed. The movie has some scenes that leave you wondering why it was even there in the first place. Such as when Ms Winston arrives unannounced and puts her head in a pot of boiling water. Not one member of the family is aware of this even happening, no one comes looking for her and all we see is her being dragged out of the kitchen. What was the point. The movie has nothing original in it and seems to rip off some great horror movies in history. The only part that is remotely scary is the very end.
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Pretty Bad Film, Absolutely hideously ugly main actor...and dumb, boring plot line
Heather B24 September 2012
I will save you a lot of time: DO NOT watch this film. Wasted 2 hours of my life. I have loved horror movies since I was a child, but the main character in this "joke de cinema" has to be the ugliest actor working cinema, and they have you believe he is married to the hottest wife ever, who actually wants to curl up with him and flirts with him in the bedroom. I do believe I vomited no less than 3 times. His acting was dull, and everyone else seemed to convey something akin to the worst acting and inappropriate facial/bodily emotions throughout the film. Think: mixture of William Shatner's bad acting classes with "Kristen Stewart's inappropriate emotion/lack of emotion Theatre workshops." It was THAT bad. They could find a better looking main character. For craps sake, hire Stephen Hawking--at least he'd have a wider range of emotions, even in his computerized voice, than this guy did...also, at least he's brilliant and looks better than the main character. Yuck... 2 thumbs down and -2 stars.
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Want a good Haunting movie? Then see something else!
This film was very cliché and it was (according to the cover) a true story. But the film was poorly acted (especially by Bill Oberst Jr. who played Wayne the Sheriff/husband/father) and the story is just like any other haunting/possession movie out there (bad ones I mean). Oh, and I only saw the 2D version. It wouldn't have been that much better in 3D as it looked like it would've been filmed in 2D then transferred to 3D afterwards. As the film went on I was left trying to at least find some positives, but the only positive I did find was that Courtney Abbiati (who played the wife/mother Carrie) actually played her part quite well, and actually kept me watching to see how she held the film together. If it wasn't for her I would have switched the movie off after the first 15 minutes. And because of her better than average acting my rating is 2 out 10 instead of a 1. Not good.
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