Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Film Review: A Haunting At Silver Falls (2013)

A Haunting At Silver Falls (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime:No

"...lacks identity, it doesn't know what it wants to be."

Recently adopted Jordan (Alix Elizabeth Gitter) moves in with her aunt Anne (Tara Westwood) and uncle Kevin (Steve Bacic) in a small town; this small town is presumably well-known for its hauntings, particularly by the twins that were murdered at Silver Falls. Soon, Jordan starts having disturbing visions that lead her into a mystery...

A Haunting at Silver Falls is a generic horror film. The story continues with Jordan having visions of dead twins. These pale-skinned, dark-haired twins (sort of like an Asian ghost) follow her around - at home, at school, etc. I like this concept as it creates a spooky vibe, and I like the design of the ghost. (I'm a sucker for Asian ghost, though, so...) However, it becomes less scary the more you see it, and it is an overused concept. As you probably predicted, the story continues as Jordan tries to find their killer, people think she's crazy, and then she finds the predictable truth - very, very basic, indeed. Also, expect plenty of plot holes, inconsistencies, and illogicalities; I won't spoil the film, but maybe its best to have an incriminating discussion in your home instead of outside when someone just left seconds before - you know, so no one hears? Fortunately, it moves at a fairly brisk pace, so it doesn't feel like it drags.

The problem is: the film is very cliché and generic from the beginning. The film fails to use any of its promising concepts and ideas wisely. Instead, the urban legend isn't creepy, the ghosts are overused, and the story is predicable. I'm particularly disappointed by the ending; it feels so rushed and cliché, leaving many unanswered questions and ending abruptly. The scares consist of jump-scares, and the ghostly visuals; unfortunately, the jump-scares never worked since the set-up (i.e. the suspense) is nonexistent and, again, the ghostly visuals are overused.

Alix Elizabeth Gitter plays the lead and she's decent; she's very basic, like the rest of the film, though. Tara Westwood can't deliver her dialogue fluently as it all feels forced and unnatural, her performance is bland; she gets better towards the end, but it doesn't matter by then. Steve Bacic is okay throughout the film, but overacts a bit towards the end. Erick Avari plays a psychiatrist, and he's actually good; a highlight for the film, despite limited screen time. Like the story, the rest of the film is basic. The music, the cinematography, the direction... it's all barely tries to meet the minimum. The writing is the real culprit for the film; the story is cliché, the storytelling is sloppy, and the dialogue is bad.

Overall, A Haunting At Silver Falls has its moments, but it is held back by its cruddy story and writing, its mediocre acting, and lack of consistent scares; A Haunting At Silver Falls lacks identity, it doesn't know what it wants to be. A solid concept with severely flawed execution. I recommend streaming before paying directly to watch.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and gore.