September 17, 2011

Filthy Review - Haunting at the Beacon

Haunting at the Beacon (2009)

Review by Jude Felton

Haunting at the Beacon is another is a long line of movies that has languished in distribution limbo having been made, and first screened, in 2009. Back then it was known simple as The Beacon which I personally think is too vague of a name. At least now you get some sort of idea of what to expect, plus I guess it is now easier to market it. Whatever the reason, and truth be known it isn’t usually for a good reason when there are lengthy delays on release, Haunting at the Beacon has finally hit the stores. Don’t run away just yet though, I promise you it is not a total disaster.

In the movie Bryn, played by Teri (Meet the Parents) Polo, and Paul Shaw (The Shield’s David Rees Snell) movie into a new apartment in the titular Beacon Apartments after the disappearance of their young son. The story behind his vanishing is inconclusive, he was playing at a Halloween fair and is presumed drowned after chasing after a ball, his body was never recovered.

The loss has hit Bryn harder than her husband, we learn to what extent later in the movie, and it is not long before she starts to see a strange young boy around the apartment complex. On top of that they seem to have violent neighbors that only she can hear through the walls.

Of course, the police are called yet find nothing so it is down to Bryn to investigate both the strange ghostly young boy and what is going on next door. I should also add that there are about half a dozen other storylines all crammed into this 98 minute movie that, whilst at times seem a little unnecessary, do all come together in a round about way at the end.

What does work about Haunting at the Beacon is the central story surrounding Bryn. There are a few creepy moments, the kind we have seen before but still quite well done for the most part, and Teri Polo’s performance is solid. She manages to convey the sense of loss and desperation quite well even if it does get a little melodramatic towards the latter stages.
Another aspect that I thought was quite decent was the fact that, even if the movie does build up to a slightly predictable conclusion, it still managed to surprise me in the direction it went. It really does go into the “What the fuck?” realm, especially when taken into context what has happened up until then.

On the negative side of things there does seem to be a little too much going on, without much actually happening in places. There are, as mentioned, plenty of subplots and not all of them are necessary and just serve to pad out the running time to be honest. The story focusing on Paul and his relationship with one of the neighbors veers dangerously into daytime Soap territory and really takes you away from the movie. And, whilst it is always good to see him, Michael Ironside is a little wasted in his supporting role even.

On a side note, Haunting at the Beacon was filmed at the Rogers Hotel in Texas which is apparently haunted itself. Although it bears no real relevance on the actual film it does make for a cool location and adds a little spook factor to proceedings.

Overall writer and director Michael Stokes has a decent story at its very core yet the muddled execution leaves it wanting a little. So, as to whether I would recommend it or not? If I flicked on the TV and it was playing I would probably watch it but I am not sure I would throw down any cash at it.

Haunting at the Beacon is released by Take 2 Releasing and is available now

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This shows on Showtime Extreme all the time. Watched it with my mom the other day. It is what it is, to much story, to much plot but like you say you catch it on t.v. which I did give it ago,, or I say if you have nothing better to watch then watch it.