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The Haunting Of Amelia right off the back, seemed to be like a knock off of The Haunting Of Emily Rose, or maybe even something like Paranormal Activity. I was incredibly wrong, but that doesn’t mean that was a good thing. This film wasn’t very good, and this film surely wasn’t horror to me. I am not even a huge horror buff, but even I feel like I was mislead, and that I didn’t get my fill of pee in my pants spooky moments.
The original title of the film was The Other Side Of The Tracks, and I actually like that title much better. The film felt more like a coming of age drama, than a film about the paranormal. Rusty, played by Chad Lindberg, is trying to overcome the loss death of his girlfriend Amelia ten years back. His is stuck in a rut with a new girl who doesn’t seem to do anything for him at all. This I like. I dig stories about overcoming one’s past, and maybe even finding piece of mind. It’s relatable, and appealing. But this film was slow. It was VERY slow. The dialogue in certain scenes, not all the scenes, was unbearable.
I understand this was an indie film, and as an indie filmmaker I am a huge advocate for indie films, but, there are some things you should do as said filmmaker to assure the film doesn’t suffer such a horrible fate as the review I am writing. One, always make sure the audio is good. If it’s bad, and your film is dialogue driven, which this film is, the audience is lost, as I was. Make sure the effects you’re trying to capture are within the realm of your budget. The few scares the film had were due to make-up, and the make-up wasn’t even very good. And, as I had already mentioned, assure your script is strong.
A.D. Calvo, the director, had a real shot at making a great film. The switch of the titles was the first mistake. If this film was marketed as a drama, I think it would’ve faired better. I might even have liked it more if I thought of it as that, though probably not. If the film used a dream flashback, instead of a ghost, it might have made things a bit more interesting. There was no build up, no mystery. The ending, which I won’t give away, is seen coming a mile away. Simple is sometimes better, and I think he was trying to do too much. I don’t mean to rip his film apart, but when I see so much possible good that could’ve come from the project, it’s hard to watch the actual end result.
If you are looking for a horror film to scare your date into bed with you, this is not it. If you want to see actors trudge their way painfully through a poor script, and bad framing, then you might want to take a peek at this. I’d like to say there were some positives, but I can’t find any. Market the film as a drama, and I might have changed my tune. But as a horror film, this piece falls flat.
John Flores is a multi-award nominated indie filmmaker living with his wife and son just outside of Los Angeles.
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