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DVD Review: A HAUNTING: THE 2012 SEASON
Studio: Timeless Media Group
Cast: Chris Gibbons, Jamie Bruce, Victoria Dane
Release Date: May 5, 2013, 7:57 pm
Rating: Not Rated for (adult themes)
Run Time: 07h:20m:00s
ďSo, it is, to a degree, a step back in time.Ē - Chris Gibbons
Movie Grade: D
DVD Grade: B
Iím a sucker for documentary films, whether theyíre released theatrically or go straight to TV, be it pay cable or otherwise, and Iím also prone to fall in love with a reality TV show every now and then. What never seems to work, however, are hybrids of these two forms of entertainment, as they try to have their non-fiction cake and eat it too. One such hybrid is A Haunting, which aired on The Discovery Channel from 2005 until 2007, was cancelled, and then resurfaced on the Destination America channel in 2012. Itís that fifth season that makes up the content in Timeless Media Groupís 2-disc DVD release of A Haunting: The 2012 Season, which includes all 10 of these episodes. While this rather tepid, scare less show only strengthened my negative feelings towards similar shows, thereís certainly a large audience for these shows (immense fan support was responsible for bringing A Haunting back from the dead), and theyíll likely snap up this nice little DVD set rather quickly.
Disc 1 begins with the episode Angels and Demons, which tells the story of a Maryland single mother who moves into a new house with her boyfriend and son, and is tormented by an evil ghost. Dark Dreams takes us to Michigan, where a lawyer and his family also take root in a new home, but heís directly haunted by a ghost that takes the Freddy Krueger route and saves the haunting for his nightmares. This disc also includes Back From the Grave, which follows a North Carolina family as they go for a life-changing walk in a cemetery near their new home (see a pattern yet?), and see a male ghost who appears to be a soldier. When they later realize that heís followed them home, they quickly remember that soldiers arenít usually alone. Blood Visions takes us back to Michigan, where a family movesÖwho am I kidding, you know by now that they, like everyone else in every other episode in this set, have just moved into a new house, so for the rest of this review, such a plot point is inferred. Anyway, this Michigan family canít seem to successfully move away from their ghost, with the boy of the family eventually seeing every form of liquid as blood. Disc 1ís final episode, Nightmare in Bridgeport, begins in 1960s Connecticut, where Bob becomes friends with a ghost. Unfortunately, for Bob, as he ages, and realizes that thereís no time in his life for adult issues and a ghost, he struggles to break free from it.
Disc 2 starts off with Nightmare Upstairs, where an Arkansas family must deal with their kidsí seeing ghosts and the subsequent house-exorcism that they decide to perform rather than at least try to leave their house. In The Haunting of The Allen House, we stay in Arkansas, and hear from a family that discovers their new house is being haunted by the ghost of a woman who killed herself. Next up is The Uninvited, which really stretches the creative boundaries of the show and sets this episode at a bar, which was newly purchased by a couple that quickly discovers that even their customers can hear the ghosts that haunt it. The Exorcism of Cindy Sauer focuses on what the title suggests despite the fact that Cindyís mom is also seeing her late husbandís ghost in their backyard, while the last episode in this set, Deathís Door, chronicles a woman who has recently overdosed, but canít shake an external demon, even after uprooting herself to New Mexico.
Each episode appears in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and they all look quite good. Image detail is mostly consistent, with a nice, vivid color scheme, along with impressive contrast and shadow levels. There is some occasional dirt, grain, and other distractions, but for an assumedly low budget TV show, these are above average DVD video presentations. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, and, although not overly dramatic or immersive, it does exhibit some nice low-end bass, and there are never any problems in the dialogue-clarity department. There isnít a single extra feature on either of these two discs.
Chuck Aliaga May 5, 2013, 7:57 pm