‘Evidence of a Haunting’ is scary for all the wrong reasons

"Evidence of a Haunting" — Photo courtesy of Midnight Releasing

There’s been a flood of interest in paranormal investigators in recent years. From successful reality programs like Paranormal State to the blockbuster film Paranormal Activity, people are interested in the ghostly things that go bump in the night.

In Evidence of a Haunting, the new indie film from writer-director Joey Evans, the camera follows a group of paranormal investigators as they look into a few cases involving a possessed girl and the haunted tunnels beneath a Texas college.

For the most part, the movie doesn’t work. The acting is uncomfortably bad, and many of the scenes seem to be ripped off from far greater films (I noted definite parallels to The Exorcist). Evans is able to build some suspenseful sequences, and the soundtrack of the movie helps keep the blood pumping, but Evidence of a Haunting simply doesn’t add up to much.

A clever premise can’t sustain a movie. There needs to be a commitment to believability and excellence in other areas.

Perhaps the best thing about Evidence of a Haunting is the real-life set of the underground network of tunnels. The dark corners of this serpentine labyrinth make for some interesting camera angles. But still the setting doesn’t save the film.

At a slim 80 minutes, the movie feels like a bloated episode of Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Network. And even if the acting was manageable, much of the action seems unreal. The characters never seem to be genuinely interested or scared of their surroundings. The weak line deliveries make the movie feel like a college project rather than a proper feature film.

There’s one point in the movie when the team is getting ready to snake its way through the haunted tunnel system, and there doesn’t seem to be any emotion about the pending trouble. No one seems anxious, scared or tense.

Evidence of a Haunting is in need of some real ghosts to shake things up.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
  • Evidence of a Haunting

  • 2010

  • Written and directed by Joey Evans

  • Starring Jessica D. Fulling, Renee Wiggins and Scott Evans

  • Running time: 80 minutes

  • Rating: ½☆☆☆

  • Click here to purchase Evidence of a Haunting on DVD.

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

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