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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Haunting of Amelia (Region 1 Edition)


Starring: Brendan Fehr, Chad Lindberg, Tania Raymonde, Beatrice Rosen, Natassia Malthe, Sam Robards, Stephnie Weir and Shirley Knight
MTI Home Entertainment
RRP: $24.95
Certificate: PG-13
Available 28 December 2010

After an accident on a level crossing, in which his girlfriend died, Josh has lived in a rut with everyone around him advising him to move on. Ten years on he still works in a diner car on the railway sidings. His old friend Rusty arrives back in town for the school reunion. At the same time Josh begins to be visited by hauntings, but it may be the mysterious new waitress who holds the key to what is happening...

Of all the sub-genres within horror, the supernatural stories are the ones I most look forward to. A simple but constructive ghostly tale still holds the power to send a shiver up my spine and a spider across my scalp.

The Haunting of Amelia is the work of first time feature writer/producer/director A.D. Calvo. I have to say straight away that the direction is pretty good. As a short film maker, he knows his way around a camera. However, the script leaves an awful lot to be desired. Pretty much nothing happens for the first forty minutes. The lead character, whilst it’s accepted that he’s supposed to be subdued, appears not to change his expression one iota from beginning to end. The plot, as well as being tediously slow and unprogressive, throws up little in the way of surprises. In fact, I found it all so predictable, and guessed the ending well in advance, except for one small detail.

The hauntings themselves, which should dominate the proceedings, are infrequent and very low key. Significantly, they don’t inspire a single chill. Slapping on thick black make-up around the eyes and mouth is simply a half-hearted attempt to emulate those classic East Asian Japanese horrors. Comparing this to something like The Ring or The Eye would be like comparing a curled-up British Rail sandwich to the full menu of a plush five-star restaurant. You might have noticed that I’m not enamoured with this. It’s competently filmed but empty of interest.


Ty Power

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