"Reminiscent of classic UK kids' TV of the 1970s"
The ghosts of twin murdered teens help a girl solve a small town murder mystery in A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS, which has just been released in the UK by 101 Films.
When teenager Jordan’s father dies she has to move from Los Angeles to stay with her uncle and aunt the tiny country town of Silver Falls. One evening at an outdoor party, she declines the usual drugs and beer to go for a wander in the woods on her own. In an American film of this type this would usually label her as maniac fodder but instead, in a movie that’s rather better than expected she finds a ring that is impossible to remove once placed on her finger. It also causes her to have visions of two RINGU-type ghost girls. Apparently they were murdered by their father who is currently on death row. As her own personal haunting worsens, Jordan discovers who actually killed them and finds herself under the same threat.
In a market glutted by ropey movies shot with hand held cameras and looking as if they’re the first efforts of individuals with no visual style at all (and often a serious tremor) A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS is actually quite a pleasant surprise - a slow burn YA horror movie with sympathetic characters and a fine sense of small town grimness. Director Brett Donowho demonstrates his lack of hackness in several well put-together shots and for once here is someone who actually knows how to use those blue and grey filters to make a country lane look threatening.
A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS isn’t a full-on horror picture. In fact I’d be tempted to recommend it most to those who yearn for the old days of 1970s children’s TV series like SHADOWS or THE CHANGES, where intelligent teens solve a mystery despite the hindrance of the adults around them. It’s far from perfect, but it’s certainly an effective time waster if you’re in the mood for something sedately paced and atmospheric.
101 Films’ DVD is strictly bare bones, with just a menu and chapter breaks.
101 Films released A HAUNTING AT SILVER FALLS on Region 2 DVD on 23rd February 2015