Haunting, A: Seasons 1-3 (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Narrated by Anthony Call
Directed by various
Distributed by Timeless Media Group
"Between the world we see and the things we fear... there are doors. When they are opened ... nightmares become reality. These are the true stories of the innocent and the unimaginable."
Those are the words that open the Discovery Channel paranormal documentary series A Haunting, a show that does just about everything right without any of the silliness of programming that echo its subject matter.
I love a good ghost story. Tales of restless spirits have filled our days since the dawn of time, and it seems that there will never be a moment where something isn't going bump in the night somewhere. Each episode of A Haunting runs about forty-eight minutes in length, and within that run time the series details real life accounts of families and/or individuals who have had the not-so-envious duty of dealing with the supernatural. Stories are told through re-enactments and interviews with the people who lived through these nightmares. This blend of documentary and cinematic storytelling is spot-on when it comes to delivering the spooky goods.
Although the show has its fair share of special ghost effects that range from silly to subtle to nightmarish, also sprinkled in are real photos, recordings, and other bits of evidence collected during various investigations of these claims. And who are our main investigators? Ed and Lorraine Warren of course. If you don't know their names, then real life tales of demons and ghosts obviously isn't your bag. The duo (Ed has since passed on) are most notable for investigating the famed Amityville Horror case and bring an air of dignity that is missing from most shows of this ilk.
Another thing that sets this series apart from the herd is that you're not going to find many tales of lovelorn spirits or unrequited love here. The ghosties (or demons) in this collection of tales are pretty much angry, evil, and not at all like Casper. This enables the fright factor of the experience to be amped up to a near constant eleven. Sure there are thoughtful and sad hauntings to report about, but the dead that have malevolent intentions are much more interesting.
The word "frightening" is most accurate when speaking of A Haunting. I'm as jaded as they come and usually read or watch horror stories to relax and unwind. Some of the things I witnessed while digging on this show kept me up at night for longer than I'd care to admit. The thought of something in your house, where you're most vulnerable, watching you while you sleep, running its icy fingers down your back, and staring at you with deep-seated hatred is absolutely unnerving. Did your bed just move? What was that noise? Is that growling? Screaming? Did you see that shadow? You get what I'm saying.
There are no special features to be found here, but, dude, we're talking about fear oozing from your TV non-stop for hours upon hours. What could be better than that?
Timeless Media Group has released this show onto the public in several different ways. The best way to go is via the main DVD collections I'm reviewing here. "Seasons 1 and 2" are available together, and "Season 3" is sold separately. Certain themed collections that have a couple of shows on a disc are also available, but trust me; go for the whole shebang, man. If you have the slightest interest in the paranormal, any one of these episodes is a can't miss treat. A Haunting will not only make you question your own beliefs and reality, but it will also scare the hell out of you while doing so. It just may well be pound for pound the scariest show ever aired on TV.
4 out of 5
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