The movie “Haunted” stars Aidan Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, Anthony Andrews, John Gielgud, Anna Massey, and Alex Lowe. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert. I watched my copy via a Blockbuster through the mail rental. If you choose to watch it via that method there’s a good chance you’ll be getting a full screen version, just passing that along in case that sort of thing bothers you, or if you even decide to watch it after reading my review.
The plot for “Haunted” follows a professor who travels to a large manor at the request of an elderly lady who claims she is trapped there by a ghost. He arrives to prove that there isn’t a ghost, but then finds himself doubting his own doubt as strange things occur and the woman’s three grandchildren who live there act out in mysterious ways. Of course one of the grandchildren is a smoking hot woman and he is also intrigued as to his romantic chances with her oo la la.
The movie is crafted fairly well, thought the “cheats” are humorously obvious. A “cheat” is when you want to portray something happen, generally action, but cannot actually shoot it outright. Often, like in this case, you use a bunch of close up shots and blur them together to symbolize what occurred. I did like the atmosphere of this movie in comparison to most newer, slicked over horror movies with ghosts and the like.
After the first few sections of story, I did not think I was going to get into “Haunted” because it moves along at a slow pace. However, once the lead gets to the potentially haunted house the movie does a good job of getting you to guess what is going on. It is very predictable and early on you figure the twist has to be one of two different scenarios, and after not too long into the events of the movie I settled on which one it obviously was going to turn out to be and I was right. I am sure in this post-“The Sixth Sense” world you too will find yourself playing the same guessing game. This may or may not ruin the movie for you.
The movie starts to really drag along and even though there are some likeable elements to the story it goes into an ending that is too extended and then capped off by a scene that was in my opinion a stupid addition.
What is the only reason for one to watch this movie? Kate Beckinsale’s nudity. She disrobes on several occasions and has a brief sex scene as well. Perhaps only a guy would point to this as a positive reason to rent the movie, but I just so happen to be a guy. I think “Haunted” decided to try and blend in some sexual thriller vibes or romance, not sure which, but the two elements kind of clash and neither vibe is fully achieved.
One could take “Haunted” and use it for a base to create a new story and make it more interesting and better paced, though the twist would need some re-working for a modern audience. Remake potential? Sure, everything has that. Is it worth the rental? If you are a fan of Aidan Quinn or Kate Beckinsale you should check it out once. If you are a fan of Kate Beckinsale being sexy, fast forward to the goodies. It’s an okay movie I guess, but not okay enough that I would say rush to see it or choose it over any other options. Well, unless your options are limited to say “Haunted” or “White Chicks.”