A Haunting at Silver Falls (2013) – By Baron Craze

A small town, called Silver Falls, holds a closely guarded secret, involving the death of two twin girls, the convicted killer, their father, Mr. Dahl, sits on death row, awaiting his execution for their brutal rape and death, and he still maintains his innocence. Meanwhile, Jordan (Alix Elizabeth Gitter), must stay with her Uncle and Aunt (Steve Bacic) and (Tara Westwood) after losing her parents, but soon enough she discovers an interesting ring, and places it upon her finger finding herself in a new nightmare and trying discover who or what is behind the secrets in town and the deaths of the girls. This sets up what should be a wonderfully entertaining whodunit story and adding just the right amount of paranormal occult for spooky and creepy effects, from the writing team of Cam Cannon, Rachel Long and Brian Pittman. Under the direction of Brett Donowho, who is no stranger to the horror genre, understanding the core principles of it and bringing onto the screen for the audience to enjoy with spooky elements abounding. Thought to note, this film, marked his second time, at the directing helm for a horror film, the first was for The Sacred (2012), although, Brett still a formidable knowledgeable person in the realm of horror as an actor, of most recently Parlor (2014) with Robert LaSardo.

The film here is not without some questionable actions, including that of psychological sessions with Jordan taking placing in a kitchen while the good doctor’s son (James Cavlo) stays up in his bedroom, noting that the son and Jordan are sort-of dating. Upon discussion with the Dr. Parrish (Erick Avari – of noted [The Mummy 1990] fame), she sees ghosts, and later advised to attend the prison of where the convicted killer sits – under low security – and goes through a forced therapeutic discussion of the rings. This starts to hurt the audience, as the suspension of disbelief bends to a breakable point and begins to lose the core of horror fans. The film seems to take forever to get going, and has a bit trouble staying in gear, for it leans more to a mystery story than just a horror and ghost story. The cast cannot go with mention, each member did a fantastic job, meaning the casting director was spot on in selecting the roles, and the interactions with each other came across extremely believable.

Cavlo and Gitter work very well together, and at times Cavlo had great screen presence, while Gitter staring in her first horror film, brings solid commitment to her role, and conveys her fears and worrisome emotions wonderfully adding to the entertainment. The Dahl twins were the typical and quite common suddenly appearing out of nowhere moving in the now known herky-jerky heebie jeebies manner made famous from the Japanese horror films The Grudge and The Ring. The first time the twins appear on the screen with an impressive look, however The Shining (1980) twins still hold the crowd for little girls that appear quite oddly.

The ghosts, provide Jordan with immensely scary nightmares and plague her to continue onward to the truth, even though it cause intense battles with her new family, friends and turns her to a brooding teenager, with suggestive psychological problems, requiring medication and sessions to overcome odd spiritual sightings.

The never-ending cycle of ghost telling stories has become a steady stream of films since Paranormal Activity rekindle the sub-genre in the horror grouping, with many films that start with the words “A Haunting At (of) Of”, and this one has difference, the quality only sets them apart. The staples of the genre still remain, The Haunting (1963), The Changeling (1980) and even The Others (2001), and so many more, the competition becomes increasing tough to penetrate with a new ghostly telling. Therefore, by implantation a murder mystery shows a creative new avenue, recently explored by the film Sinister (2012). However, the chain of evidence teeters badly, the logical jumps to conclusion unforeseen especially for a new teen in a small confine town, makes for some sketchy moments.

This filmmaking conveys a well-measured platform for b-movie, with the ability to strive well for the DVD Markets, Streaming, and TV-movies where the showing came on the Lifetime network. If one except gory scenes and major scares, they need to seek another film, for this one has basic elements, more of a common PG-13. The final scenes rush everything together, pushing all of the loose ends to one possible conclusion and not allowing the audience the time to process the lead up to ending.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1813609