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FLICKS: The Haunting of Whaley House

Posted on 15 August 2012 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

AdventuresOfCinemaDave.com

It was 13 years ago this month that The Sixth Sense was released, becoming the biggest grossing horror movie of all time. While the following summers presented some fine ghost stories on the big screen (What Lies Beneath, The Others), no horror film has come close to The Sixth Sense’s nearly $300 million box office gross.

Released recently on DVD, The Haunting of Whaley House brings some fun back into the ghost story genre. Penny Abbott (Stephanie Greco) is a tour guide for the Whaley House in San Diego. Under the tutelage of Bethany Romero (Lynn Lowry), Penny is warned not to do three things that could disturb the spirits of Whaley House. Because of peer pressure, Penny relents and ends up doing the three things she was warned about.

Penny allows her amateur ghost-busting friends into the house under the cover of night. The Whaley ghosts are not amused and plot their passiveaggressive retribution.

It should be noted that this film is an Asylum production. Besides providing the Syfy Channel B-movie fare like Shark Week documentaries and Bigfoot (starring members The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch, Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams, respectfully), The Asylum produced fare with titles like Bikini Spring Break and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.

The beauty of this film is that it acknowledges the B-movie expectations of cheesy special effects deaths, morbid humor and one scene of gratuitous nudity. Writer/Director Jose Prendes’ dialogue is snappy with humor.

Genre veteran Lowry (Cat People, The Crazies) bookends the tale, providing both menace and sincerity. As the central character Penny, Greco confidently leads an ensemble of character actors.

Halloween season begins early this year and The Haunting of Whaley House delivers the first chill of autumn.

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