A Haunting in Salem (2011) – Review

3 Stars

The new town sheriff (Bill Oberst Jr, who looks like Viggo Mortensen’s older brother) moves into a large creepy old house with his family. It seems that in the town of Salem there’s a special house for the sheriff to live in gratis. Unfortunately it’s haunted by witches that have a strong craving for sheriff’s blood (and love chatting on the computer). With some decent makeup effects, a creepy score by Chris Ridenhour (seriously where can I buy the CD?) and lots of blood A Haunting in Salem is everything we’ve come to expect from a haunted house flick.

Shane Van Dyke further cements himself as one of the best director’s in The Asylum’s cannon. Working from a script by longtime Asylum fan H. Perry Horton and with the help of cinematographer Alexander Yellen, Van Dyke turns in a very polished looking film. Horton’s script is smart in unfolding a small mystery while hitting all the traditional possessed house plot points minus the usual cringe inducing dialogue. The actors’ performances are top notch for the quick shooting schedule, making you wish they had spent a little more time on it just to see how much better they could be. A Haunting in Salem is truly firing on all cylinders.

The Blu-ray 3D I viewed had a flawless presentation (the disc is perfectly round, it fits great in the player and even comes with a case!). There is some ghosting and some shots have too shallow a depth of field which puts some of the objects in frame out of focus. When watching something in 3D it doesn’t look great when things go out of focus. This movie looks as if 3D was a secondary thought as far as the filming techniques used. Aside from those complaints the image is crisp and the 3D is comparable to that in Hollywood productions. I wish they had put some jumping out stuff in here, that would have made for a funner ride. This is The Asylums first foray into the true Blu-ray 3D format (they’ve done anaglyphic red/blue glasses 3D before) and they’ve done a great job with it.

Not too scary, with plenty of downtime during the film and a lot of easy setups for some Mystery Science Theater commentary A Haunting in Salem is an easy watch, especially with some friends.

Director: Shane Van Dyke
Stars: Bill Oberst Jr, Jenna Stone, Carey Van Dyke

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