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on June 1, 2013
My expectations were lower than low for A Haunting at Silver Falls. I've seen too many horrible ghost movies in the past 10 years to even count, so I figured this would be nothing new. And though it's not technically anything "new", it does feel rather unique, which is asking a lot of movies nowadays. For the first half hour I was not as optimistic, however. The beginning of the movie really put me in the mind of Twilight (which is sooo NOT a good thing!) Too many hints of high school romance, too much focus on a teenage girl adjusting to her new home life, too much blandness. The decent acting was the only thing keeping my eyes on the screen, but I'm glad I continued watching because once the movie picked up I ended up really enjoying it. The twist at the end is what really peaked my interest - totally made the whole girl-growing-up-dealing-with-love-and-ghosts thing seem almost fresh once again. Sure, you've seen a lot of this story in a million other movies already, but compared to a lot of other ones released today - this isn't a bad way to waste an hour & a half.
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on May 28, 2013
This was a pretty good movie that is geared towards kids from ages (approx.) 8-13. The acting was good and it was simplistic enough. Basically, it's a murder mystery and ghost story. The movie revolves around teens (no sex, no real drug taking, no soft porn), and the villains were the adults. It reminded me of stories my daughter used to read around the age of 10, such as R.L. Stine's Fear Street, ect. All in all a pretty good movie for the age group I mentioned.

As an adult I like films that are geared for adults, such as "MaMa" or "Bag of Bones". I rated this movie four stars for the benefit of older kids looking for something "clean cut" in the category of "haunted." That's a hard thing to find nowadays.
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A good friend and I have a running debate about the nature of horror films that centers around why so many scripts involve protagonists and/or victims of a high school age. My friend contends consistently that youth of that ripe, young age haven't quite been spoiled (or is that soiled?) by the cynicism of adulthood, and, as such, ghosts and spirits are drawn to them. Me? Well, I tend to think that youth of that ripe, young age are too stupid to know how to handle themselves when ghosts or spirits show up on the scene, and, as such, they make easy victims for both willing heavies, vengeful phantoms, and budding screenwriters.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few modest hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Due to some decidedly tragic events that never quite get a definitive explanation, Jordan (played by comely Alix Elizabeth Gitter whose given an "introducing" screen credit though this appears to be her tenth filmed production) comes to live with her aunt Anne (Tara Westwood) - her mother's twin - and uncle Kevin (Steve Bacic), a greasy sort whose behaviors harkens back to only the best closeted pedophiles. After finding a ring close to the nearby Silver Falls, Jordan finds herself suddenly troubled with visions of dead girls - twin sisters killed at the hands of their own father (or were they?). Faced with no alternative, Jordan desperately tries to convince anyone who'll listen that these restless spirits only hope to convey a message from beyond: the real murderer is still out there ... and now anyone who can see the twins is in danger!

For all its narrative stumbles (and there are plenty), A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS tries very hard to buck the trend of the traditional ghost-terrorizing-teens story by more strongly embracing the element of mystery. The only significant problem with this is that element doesn't really rear its head until an hour into a 90-minute story, leaving the first two-thirds to feel unnecessary formulaic about - you guessed it - the traditional ghost-terrorizing-teen tale. Without trying to rewrite the script post-production (mostly because I, too, hate critics who think they turn out a tighter plot), I think director Brett Donowho (don't know who?) may've been better served by having scribes Cam Cannon, Rachel Long, and Brian Pittman give their pages another pass with the single request of amping up the whodunit aspect much earlier.

Otherwise, HAUNTING ends up feeling too predictable. It's populated with just the right amount of troubled teens for the casual viewer to see through the usual narrative trickery (the first half plods along with a heavy `been there done that' attitude), but kudos to them all for giving it a decent try. Granted, there were hints that something more was afoot - the Sheriff's son seems to know the story of the twins' deaths isn't what most people think, but he's relegated so strongly into the background that he never comes off as more than Jordan's would-be stalker. Westwood and Bacic's performances as the doting, adoptive aunt and uncle feels like they have something to hide, and - lo and behold - before it's all over, they do! They do have something to hide! Those are the kinds of `gimmes' that could've been lessened with a meaner, leaner draft. Shot as it is, HAUNTING feels somewhat like they were making it up as they went, so maybe they were.

And that's a disservice to some respectable work by "newcomer" Gitter as well as James Cavlo's underused role as Larry, Jordan's kinda/sorta boyfriend. These two fresh faces did they best they could with their time and skills to deliver serviceable performances surrounding youths in trouble. If more attention had been paid to the script's `trouble,' then their work might not have felt so wasted. There's an ambiguity in their final screen moment that shouldn't be there; I'll take that as further evidence of scriptwriters struggling to define definitively what was actually going on here ... plus the obligatory and expectable big finish tells me they watched one too many horror flicks in their time and just sought to mimic the polish.

A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS is produced by Enderby Entertainment and Tony-Seven Films. DVD distribution is being handled by Inception Media Group, LLC. As for the technical specifications, the film is smartly produced with some very solid cinematography and some impressive sound editing. Alas, there are no special features to speak of - a shame in this day and age. Minimally, I would've liked to know just how much of this "inspired by a chilling, true story" was actually inspired by a chilling, true story, but methinks it wasn't meant to be.

RECOMMENDED. While not entirely predictable, A HAUNTING IN SILVER FALLS remains plagued by too many elements already explored by other vastly superior films. What's disappointing about that is it ends up wasting some solid work by its two young stars as well as leaves other more interesting narrative possibilities completely unexplored. In horror, not all is what it seems. In fact, rarely is `all' what it seems. Had HAUNTING dabbled more heavily in those parts of its script, it may've had a better chance at being discovered. This tale inspired by "a chilling, true story" needed less truth and more chill.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Inception Media Group, LLC provided me with an advance copy of A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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on June 24, 2013
You see so much crap these days, and then expect the worst of the movies churned out. This was not one of those mishaps. A Haunting at Silver Falls was an unexpected surprise. I love a good ghost story and this movie didn't disappoint.
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on January 2, 2014
California girl, Jordan's (Alix Elizabeth Gitter) father dies and she goes to live in Silver Falls, a quiet little New England town. While there she is visited by underwear gnomes who turn out to be dead twins. Who are they? What do they want?

The film is a ghost story that is a mystery. The ghost effects are decent, but there isn't much of a scare factor, as Jordan becomes used to their presence and can't seem to eat her Sugar Pops without them. The film drops clues and at an hour into the feature I thought I had it figured out, but as it turned out I latched unto the head fake instead of the clue and the film ended different than I expected.

A good ghost story who like a mystery more than horror.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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on June 4, 2014
A Haunting at Silver Falls is a good ghost mystery full of twists and turns. It's down right spooky at the start, and while the haunting becomes much more sedate, the mystery gets way creepier and darker than I expected. The characters are engaging and just quirky enough to keep me interested, while the cinematography and imagery tell the story in a beautiful way.

If you're look for gore and terror, might be a pass, but for a good ghost story, visit Silver Falls.
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A Haunting at Silver Falls (Brett Donowho, 2013)

I hadn't trolled the bottom of my Netflix queue in a while, so I resorted it then took a look at the titles in the bottom five. The only one that struck my fancy that particular day was A Haunting at Silver Falls, so I settled in to watch, hoping against hope that this would be one of those rare birds where the public was entirely wrong and this was an overlooked gem. It's not—there's a little too much “you really expected me to suspend that much disbelief?” in the final third of this debut script—but it's better than I expected given its position at the low end of that particular totem pole.

Plot: Jordan (The Bling Ring's Alix Elizabeth Gitter) is a newly-orphaned teen who's been packed off to live with her aunt and uncle, Kevin (X2's Steve Bacic) and Anne (My Best Friend's Wife's Tara Westwood) Sanders. Not long after she arrives at the new homestead, she starts seeing things—things that turn out (this isn't a spoiler given the cover art) to be the ghosts of a pair of local twins (Gamer's Jade and Nikita Ramsey) whose father is about to be executed for their murder. But why are they haunting Jordan, specifically? And, perhaps more importantly, are they going to get in the way of a possible romance with local nerd Larry (Mansion of Blood's James Cavlo in his feature debut)?

Donowho (5 Souls) and a trio of writers all turning in their first script do a competent job. It's not great, and it's certainly not subtle, but it's watchable enough to spend a quick hour and a half with. The Big Reveal is bats enough that you're either going to love it or hate it. I laughed. That doesn't tell you which side I came down on, though, does it? I thought it was a barrel of cheesy fun. ***
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on November 18, 2013
If you enjoyed this review, make sure to check out my horror movie review blog at:

A Haunting at Silver Falls (2013) **
D: Brett Donowho
C: Alix Elizabeth Gitter, James Cavlo, Tara Westwood, Steve Bacic, Erick Avari, James C. Burns, Tadhg Kelly, James Ralph, Jade Ramsey, Nikita Ramsey
P: A teenager who has been uprooted to a small town after the death of her father is haunted by twin ghosts and must solve the mystery surrounding their death.

Yet another supernatural thriller deceivingly marketed as being in the same vein as The Ring. This one seems to take forever to get going. Once it does, it's just another predictable mystery that would have been better suited as a TV movie of the week.

It's better acted then most. Gitter, in her film debut, brings a solid foundation to the film. Cavlo steals scenes and really pops on screen. He's obviously got a bright future ahead of him. As for the rest of the cast, they all turn in competent performances. Performances that are quite frankly better then what the film deserves. There's also some picturesque scenery and some attempts at character development.

All in all, A Haunting at Silver Falls is an OK film, the type of film you watch once and then instantly forget about. Nothing about it makes it unique or stand out. You'll see it in Redbox machines for a little while and then it'll just disappear with all the other supernatural clones that have been hitting the market ever since Paranormal Activity re-energized the sub genre. [Not Rated] 96 mins. --- AKA: Silver Falls
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on September 12, 2014
It was good. Not the best....but I loved the ending. It wasn't what I thought would happen. It caught me off guard. The actors were ok. The script was b rated....but it was still won't be disappointed.....
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on September 6, 2014
Don't listen to the nay sayers! This movie is ten times better than all the recent Paranormal 1,2,3 movies (Yawn). It kept me guessing until the end. A fun watch.
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