Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Haunting in Salem - Review - @BrandonCSites


A Haunting in Salem (2011) *1/2
D: Shane Van Dyke
C: Bill Oberst Jr., Courtney Abbiati, Jenna Stone, Nicholas Harsin
P: A local sheriff comes unraveled after his family moves into an old mansion with a cursed history.

Horror film mishmash tries to be part slasher, part haunted house thriller, part mystery and part domestic drama. The mystery that the film is spinning really isn't all that complicated. It's a bit too easy to figure out what's going on. The slasher film elements fail to deliver any memorable murder set pieces. The domestic drama fails to resonate. And as for the haunted house elements go, there isn't enough ghosts or things going bump in the night. 

The Haunting Salem tries to do too much. As a result, the film never quite finds its footing. Slasher films are more on the literal side, while haunted house films are more on the ambiguous side. Since the film is incorporating two horror sub-genres that are so opposite of one another, there is a lack of cohesion in terms of tone and style. It's disjointed, uneven and all over the place. Instead of focusing on doing any one thing well, The Haunting in Salem tries to do anything & everything and none too well. [R] 86 mins.

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