The Haunting of Pearson Place (2012) *1/2
D: Michael Merino
C: Tracy Teague, Joe Estevez, Ken Arnold, Regen Wilson, Julie Price, Mick McGuire, Suzi Lorraine
P: A couple purchase a former halfway house for shell shocked soldiers with the intent of renovating it into a bed and breakfast, but the house's dark history comes back to haunt the couple and their friends.
The Haunting of Pearson Place is one of those films that is all over the map. The story really doesn't make much sense. Chunks of the film either drag on much longer then necessary or are far too repetitive. And some of the film's better scenes, feel as though they belong in an entirely different film all together. ...Oh and Suzi Lorraine appears topless, because as we all know, dead ghosts run around topless.
Mick McGuire steals the film in a performance that strikes the right balance between being funny and generating tension & unease, however his scenes are not conductive to being in a haunted house / supernatural type thriller. That's a big problem with The Haunting of Pearson Place. It doesn't understand the mechanics of the supernatural / haunted house thriller sub-genre. The setting, itself, certainly looks like it could be haunted, but it isn't photographed in such way that there is a sense of fear or dread surrounding the place. The film attempts to scare us at times. Some of these scenes are either too rushed to be effective or take so long to develop that I just gave up on waiting for any kind of payoff.
As for the cast, they do what they can with the material. Joe Estevez seems game for whatever it is that the film is trying to achieve, but his role isn't given the proper substance and he ends up being wasted. Tracy Teague looks great on screen and has real presence. There's no denying it, the camera loves her. The thing is, she is so done up and glamorous looking throughout, that she isn't credible as a housewife with a troubled marriage. In one scene, Teague awakes from bed to answer the door with her hair and makeup perfectly done! As for the rest of the cast, they get an A for effort, but most are miscast.
The Haunting of Pearson Place doesn't have a real understanding of the medium- from casting, to what works (and doesn't) for a supernatural thriller, to the film's overall pacing. It's one of those films that never feels at ease with itself as it drags along from one scene to the next with the scenes never really connecting to form a cohesive whole. [Not Rated] 105 mins.
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