Friday, May 25, 2012

'Evidence of a Haunting' is a mess

Evidence of a Haunting (2010)
Starring: Jessica D. Fulling, Scott Evans, Renee Wiggins, Korin Medina, Christopher Cassarino, and Robert M. Alford
Director: Joey Evans
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

Six ghost hunters on a reality TV show come up against increasingly dangerous spirits in their final three investigations.

"Evidence of A Haunting" is another one of those movies that draws its inspiration from the ever-increasing slate of shows like SyFy Channel's "Ghost Hunters". I haven't seen many episodes of any of them, but if the reality show that the characters in this movie star it existed, it would probably be like a cross between "Fact or Faked" and the aforementioned "Ghost Hunters".

I say "probably," because while we, in theory, are presented with at least one investigation as it would appear on the show, and we are given clips throughout the film of the kind that would appear on such a show, we never really get a sense of what the show is actually like. I suspect it would be a highly produced, high-end show like "Fact or Faked," but the film never gives us enough to work with to know where the characters fit on the hobbyiest to successful professional spectrum.

This problem could have been fixed if a little more time had been spent on the script in the character development department. The characters really needed to be explored more, as did their place in the world.

And if that had been done, maybe the filmmakers would have realized that their film was lacking in a consistent tone, or any sort of cues to the audience that the film would be shifting between "documentary"/"cinema verite" style and a regular, plainly fictional film, and eventually completely abandoning the conceit that we're watching footage culled from the team's final investigations.

A problem that no amount of improvement in the script, or a more consistent story-telling style used, would have fixed, is the wide variety of acting talent on display from the cast. A couple of the stars do almost professional-level work, but the majority of the cast are so wooden you almost have the feeling they were only making the movie because their families were being held hostage somewhere.

All in all, a film you can probably skip.

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