SPOOKED, The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, documents paranormal evidence including, ORBS, EVPS, Shadow People, Ghostly Photography and video, interviews with actual patients, ghost hunters and the people of Waverly Hills Sanatorium. If you don’t believe in ghosts, you will NOW!!! 83 minutes of ghostly evidence of the damned. No documentary takes you closer to the truth that ghosts exist. HEAR and SEE the FEAR.
It’s always a pleasure to review a film that is loaded with points of reference and content. The latest comes in the form of a documentary by the talented team of Twin Talk’s Booth Brothers. Some of you may have caught the piece being played on the SCi-Fi channel, of those who didn’t the good news is that they’ve made it available for purchase as well.
We’ve all seen our share of documentaries. In fact just about every DVD comes with one now. Though it takes considerable more time, passion and conviction to pull one together that not only informs but entertains and in this case….. scares. I thought when tackling this review the best route was to approach it from 4 points that impressed me. These would be the music score, the editing, the story itself and documentary.
Beginning with the score. Composed brilliantly by Christopher Saint Booth who goes buy the moniker “Saint” is quite a few things worth mention. The words that come to mind are hypnotizing, magical and a haunting symphony of perfection. It’s no surprise that the score is also available for purchase as it is a real piece to own. As we are taken from one moment into the other, the score carries eloquently with the same flavor as the haunting visuals we are exposed to onscreen. Usually a documentary doesn’t get as much care put into this aspect, but I was delighted to see that the same motivation that they would put into a movie score, they composed for “Spooked”.
The editing. Nowadays its not as uncommon to get a great edited experience especially with the number of new docs popping up on Discovery and History channels. Though I always say that that option falls on the filmmakers and there desire to beef up the visual presentation to extra heights. Good thing for us that Philip Adrian Booth is a talented editor as well. This is evident in the range of motion graphics, titling, segues, layovers, cutaways and general scheme of visual assault we are exposed to . The important thing is the piece flows from one interview to the next. From one location to the next and from one chapter to the next. This is the secret to engaging your viewers. The content is eerie enough on its own but the added work makes for a great experience.
What is it that scares us more than a simple Romero or Wes craven experience? Its when truth is presented on screen and backed up by factual evidence. The documentary takes place at the famed Waverly Hills Sanatorium located in Louisville, Kentucky. Even without entering the monolith of a gigantic curved structure it is impressive and intimidating. Add to that a bizarre history, a death count of over 60,000 and a report of experimentations and questionable procedures. No, it’s not the film “House on Haunted Hill” its the real life tales of Waverly.
I will tell you that there are alot of facts presented in the narratives. We have the building which was in existence from 1926 up to 1981. The 1926 to 1968 time frame saw the erection of the structure. The building was shut down though in 1982.
The object was to create a super structure that tackled the issues of Tuberculosis back in the 30-40’s outbreak period. The structure was to be the cutting edge location for victims and patients. The 2nd -3rd floors were reserved for commons, and the 4th floor reserved for folks with money. The illness at that time went under the name “White plague” and was largely a new outbreak for doctors which resulted in all kinds of testing and experimentation. Waverly was closed at one point and re-opend under the moniker oif “WoodHaven” in the early eighties. Though the patients were widely mistreated, and neglected which caused reason for its closure in 1981.
The documentary covers all the aspects of Waverly’s history. The dreaded “Death Tunnel”, the Draining room”, The ghost girl, the onslaught of ghost hunter activities, The shadow people, The smell of fresh baked goods, The big brother atmosphere, The floors and there history and the infamous room 502.
My suggestion? Check it out , as there is more information than I could write and review. The Booth brothers know how to film & present a documentary and that’s all you need to know. It make be a bit of an overstep top say this, but I found this one of the best ghost documentaries I’ve seen to date. What’s more scarier than that? Its’ all based on reports and truth. The content has always been there, its just taken some motivation to see it finally brought to screen ……excellent!