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A DEAD CALLING
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Michael Feifer

Starring:
Alexandra Holden
John Burke
Sid Haig

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
When a television reporter survives a stalker attack, she moves back home with her parents where she finds herself attached to an old house doing a story on architecture. It seems some spooky ghosts need her help, and a nut job killer is hanging around. It’s all connected, and all predictable.
Is it good movie?
A Dead Calling started out fairly promising. And by promising I mean seeing the names of Sid Haig, Leslie Easterbrook and Bill Moseley in the cast. And we also get a fairly creepy intruder sequence when television news reporter Rachel Beckwith (Alexandra Holden) is attacked in her apartment. But when she wakes up six months later after that night and Mom and Pop, oddly cast with Captain Spaulding and Momma Firefly Haig and Easterbrook, things get slow. The main problem I had with this call is Alexandra Holden… I didn’t buy her in the role. She is not a bad actress but she failed to make me feel a whole hell of a lot for her character. She had moments where I believed her but they were few and far between. When you don’t care about the heroine, where can you go? And as far as casting goes, as I said, Sid Haig and Leslie Easterbrook are fine, but they are given terrible dialogue especially in the “breakfast scene” six months after the intruder incident. And seriously, who the hell is going to butter someone’s toast?

The story is simple, a woman who survives an attack finds herself living with her parents and taking a job at a small town local television station. When she is assigned a story regarding the architecture of some of the towns’ oldest homes, she goes to investigate. When she does, she sees a ghostly apparition of a family being murdered. If this sounds a little like the J-Horror flicks of late, it feels like it to. Until they go slasher mode and introduce a real killer who happens to show up just in time to spill some blood. This is the kind of film that tries too hard and fails because it attempts to be more than it is. If you are going to make a ghost story original, don’t add on a predictable killer on the loose story, it won’t work. If they had stuck with the original idea of a haunted house, I think it would have been a much better film. The house itself was creepy as hell and the ghostly images sometimes gave me shivers but in the end it just felt empty and cold… kind of like the house itself.
Video / Audio
The Extras
Being this was a screener, there were no extras, but I did see a bunch of trailers including, “Employee of the Month”, “Saw III”, “Solar Attack”, “Silent Scream”, “The Kumite”, “A Dead Calling”, “Zombie Nation”, “The Descent”, “Amar te Duele” and “El Vacilón: The Movie”.
Last Call
It was great to see The Devil’s Rejects clan (Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Leslie Easterbrook) in a different type of movie; it’s too bad they weren’t used better. There were moments that were high on creep factor but sadly those moments were few and far between. With a couple of strong ideas, it would have been better to stick with one and not intermingle leaving the audience with haunted house and killer on the loose clichés abound. Not an awful movie but not quite what it should have been, predictable, dull and miscast. If the dead come calling… I don’t think I would recommend answering.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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