Ten years after a tragic train accident killed his girlfriend, Josh still finds himself unable to move on. It's Josh's high school reunion, and he's still bummed out. Things, however, look brighter for Josh when he falls in love with a mysterious young woman who is the spitting image of his deceased girlfriend. As things start to look up for Josh, he becomes haunted by some weird dreams involving the accident and Emily's ghost.
Marcey was right! More on that later.
History lesson time! Back in 2008, a film called OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS was making its way around festivals and the like, trying to snag a distributor. Two years later and a new title under its belt, THE HAUNTING OF AMELIA arrives on DVD, courtesy of MTI Home Video. Going into this, I had no idea what to expect, but after watching the film, I could see why it took so long for this film to get a distribution deal.
The positive for this film came in the form of Chad Lindberg's performance as the energetic Rusty, Josh's high school friend who comes into town for the high school reunion. Rusty is basically the source of exposition for the film, as Fehr presents Josh as mostly just moping about along the train tracks where the accident took place. That's not to say that Fehr is totally inept, since his performance with Tania Raymonde as Amelia brought about some thoughts likening it to the interactions between Brandon Lee and Sofia Shinas in THE CROW.
Other than those performances, I was largely underwhelmed by the film. Frankly, I felt cheated. When I told my pal Marcey that I was reviewing this film, her first thought was that the film looked weak. Well, she was right. And this was judging from the trailer! Really, the film is more akin to a teenage drama, with the same shoddy scriptwriting. The scenes that Josh has with the train tracks have the same music you'd find on some brain-dead 'drama' on the WB. It's not scary, and the 'scares' (all of which consist of makeup jobs) that are there are few and very far between. No ghostly gory girlfriends here, folks. It's not a horror movie. Probably the biggest problem is the pacing. It's a slow burner, which is largely used to set things up (via Rusty), but man, I just could not hold interest in this thing. It's so long, with stretches of nothing that go on long after I had finished my second rum and coke. Really, when you have to drink to speed things up, you know it's long.
AMELIA could've been something better, but instead the script and pacing (reminder to first-time directors: unless you're a machine, do not handle the writing and editing like writer/director/editor A.D. Calvo has with this film) border on the inane, and is better akin to an episode of 90210. Plus, when it's PG-13, you can tell this is made for the 'horror lite' crowd that wants to spend more time fawning over the lead than anything else. Rent it if you must, but be prepared to lose interest and your state of wakefulness along with it.
Nothing, and the retail disc is the same, save for trailers.
The only horror to be found here is the script and the plodding pace of the film. THE HAUNTING OF AMELIA may be for those fans of Brendan Fehr and Chad Lindberg, but everyone else (read: horror fans who don't feel like watching a teenage drama ghost story disguised as a horror film) will pass.