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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS (Brett Donowho 2013): WOW... That is REALLY Bad Parenting!

3 Stars

Although a pretty typical “new home, ghost story”, this movie was actually pretty fun to watch, especially since it is apparent that the filmmaker is a horror fan himself. Instead of having the dialogue loaded up with overused intertextual references, as so many films do these days, Donowho used imagery that only other fans might recognize. In this particular case, the cliches and nods gave the film character, making watching it like a charming little game. While not particularly artistic or masterful, the film scores points with me for ‘scrap-booking’ so many horror greats in order to create its own story. But keep in mind, it is an indie-horror, not a Hollywood blockbuster.

Here are some of the nods I noticed:

  1. Spinning Head imagery (Exorcist)
  2. Chopping Wood imagery (Amityville Horror)
  3. Twin Ghosts (Shining), somewhat modeled after J-Horror 
  4. Serial Killing Couple (Natural Born Killers)
  5. Curious Neighborhood Boy/Unexpected Hero (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, among others)

Furthermore, this film is full of life lessons. Such as...

5 ways to screw up your recently orphaned neice:

1. Give her no privacy. No really, go ahead, enter her room unannounced while she’s changing.   
2. Accuse her of petty crimes, like stealing your scarf.
3. Lock her in a bathroom when you go out for date-night... After all, she did steal your scarf.
4. When you find her catatonic on the bathroom floor, force pills down her throat and put her to bed. Surely she just needs some rest. 
Oh, don’t forget to put her in sexy satin pajamas first...
5. When push comes to shove, make sure you have a secret trap door in your basement


5 ways to ruin your first date with the screwed up orphan:
  1. Take her to a party in a haunted town and tell her ghost stories
  2. Assume she’s into drugs... She’s from L.A., right? 
  3. Spend an absurd amount of money on drugs and then whine when she doesn’t want them... 
  4. When running away from the police, lose her in the smallest crowd ever
  5. Be very upset when she allows someone else to drive her home. She should have stayed in the woods and waited for your gallant return! It’s not like you had been arrested... Oh wait, yes you were. I guess possessive is in this season.

Never obnoxious, I have to say this film did a nice job of coming into itself. Everything that struck me as odd turned out to have a place in the plot. And bonus, Erick Avari plays the creepy psychologist! 

Fine by me.