Film Review: The Haunting of Whaley House (2012)

SYNOPSIS:

Just because you don’t believe in ghosts, doesn’t mean they don’t believe in you!

REVIEW:

Based on true events is always a tag line I heed with caution. The film is a new production under the Asylum group which also is a factor worth heeding that same caution. To be honest, I was expecting another hand held film like the “Amityville Haunting” film (or in fact several others bearing the haunting title from Asylum). However, this movie is “actually” a bonafide “non-cam” film for the pure satisfaction of bringing you a new scare. Well I was pulled in from the start which begins quite nicely with a ghost in the window, a young boy getting slammed by an oncoming vehicle and then a another young female who is hypnotized into slitting her own neck. I figured, what the heck, let’s stick with this one and see how it floats.

The story begins with a house, a legend about the house being haunted, AND a tourist attraction (yep the same house) One of the tour guides Penny Abbot (Stephanie Greco) is quickly talked into granting her friends an “after hours” visit in the hopes of a few ghost sightings. This of course sets the stage for the “6 enter…none leave” scenario …(or something like that).

Earlier in the day, a visitor proclaims seeing all kinds of activity only to be summoned back that night and induced into self inflicting an axe into her neck. The group inside of course unaware…. but in for the ride of their life.

The Haunting of Whaley House (2012) attempts to lay the foundation for a great ghost story. We have a group who “dink” around with the old Ouija board, we have a resident “celebrity ” medium on board who narrates all the things he sees (that the rest don’t) and we got a bunch who ridicule the lack of, laugh about and occasionally jump from the slightest movement. I realized that much might fall into cookie cutter scares, but to the defense of the film, it does have some legitimate jump moments.

At about the 2/3 way, we end up on the inevitable…”don’t piss off the ghosts” warning, which suggests that things are going to heat up. (and not a moment too late, I might add)

We get alot of the “now you see them, now you don’t” shots that cutaway and back to “ghouls in the room” moments. I don’t know, maybe I was just happy that this was not another found footage film that it gave way to my soft spot for filmmaking.

Fans of the genre will be happy to know that hardworking scary girl Maria Olsen appears as a ghost in this film. One point of amusement is when one of the researchers carries on for 5 minutes about his equipment being broken….and then threatens all the ghosts. It’s a case of…this could end badly rearing its ugly head at the taunter (of which it does).

I will say that the house used in the film “appears” to be the same house used in half a dozen other Asylum films (though I could be wrong).

I have to give director Jose Prendes credit for retuning to the old school way of doing haunts. It’s not going to end up on the top 10 list but it offers some legitimate scares and ghost hunting. “The Haunting of Whaley House” is a decent product that fits within the scale of independent releases. It’s actually one of the better in this vein from “The Asylum” team surpassing a least its 5 last releases. The budget was estimated at $115K, which might be a little high for what you get but still in the relative ball park.

The Haunting of Whaley House (2012)

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