Haunted (1995)

“We’re all mad, you know.” Haunted is the type of adequate atmospheric horror flick that is never as good as you want or expect it to be. Frankly, I think they should have hacked off the last 10 minutes or so of this one and started rolling the credits during that cemetery scene—since the ending is a letdown of epic proportions. That said, Haunted, which was directed by Lewis Gilbert (Alfie), does feature a handful of original moments and the acting is pretty good across the board, especially from Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale. Quinn portrays “David Ash,” an English-born American professor of parapsychology who has become a debunker of paranormal activity somewhat along the lines of “The Amazing Randi.” Ash, who is also haunted by the tragic accidental death of his twin sister many years before, gets invited back to England in 1928 by the eccentric Mariell family – creepy oldster “Nanny Tess” (Anna Massey), gorgeous and uninhibited “Christina” (Beckinsale), strange control freak “Robert” (Anthony Andrews) and simple-minded prankster “Simon” (Alex Lowe) – to investigate strange occurrences at their eerie mansion, Edbrook House. Before you know it, Ash starts falling under the spell of Edbrook House (and falling for young, hot Christina as well!) and unearthing some dark family secrets along the way. Is he going totally insane or is the house really haunted? Also look for John Gielgud as “Dr. Doyle.” Bottom line: Haunted will keep you reasonably entertained if you’re ever bored out of your mind on a rainy night. Gilbert directed three James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).

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