Spoilers follow ...
- Haunting in Hollow Creek review by NP
Married writer Blake Blackman (Steve Daron) and his difficult-to-impress partner, illustrator Angelica Santoro (Guisela Moro), who are having an affair, retreat to a remote cabin in the Appalachian Mountains in order for Blake to commence work on his latest book. The location is beautifully photographed and so stunning, their dog Brandy decides to spend more and more time away from the couple, exploring.
Nights spent in the remote log cabin, with the fireside blazing and lashing of the rain outside – it all sounds idyllic. Only the occasional glimpses of ragged, ghost-like children and Blake’s looming deadline threaten to ruin things. Angelica disappears after discovering she is pregnant, kidnapped and held hostage (alongside two ‘missing’ children) by a hillbilly couple residing in the nearby run-down town. The police suspect Blackman of killing her, despite the real kidnappers being such stereotypical inbreeds. The lawmen are stubbornly lackadaisical, even when Burt Reynolds turns up as Seagrass Lambert, whose grandson has disappeared.
Despite the disappearance of a number of children, it is only after Blake harangues the inactive police force that they make any investigations at the home of the two outcasts. By this time, the imprisoned Angie is heavily pregnant and there’s a growing uncertainty regarding her safety. This tenseness comes very late on in the film. Everything takes so long – Blake’s investigations, the delayed action of the police, the lack of horrific incident all conspire to make this a pretty drawn-out experience: at almost two hours, ‘The Haunting’ long outstays its welcome. A shame, because things could have been tense if 30-45 minutes was shorn from the running time. The idea of spirits of children helping Angie is a nice one, as is the race for time toward the end – but we spend so long getting there, and indeed the finale stretches so long, that any real tension is frittered away.
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