• Haunted, The

    Released by: Discovery - Gaiam
    Released on: 9/6/2011
    Director: various
    Cast: various
    Year: 2009
    Purchase from Amazon

    The Movie:
    This Animal Planet original series covers modern-day paranormal happenings where household pets (dogs, cats, little bunny rabbits) are affected by the spooky events. Apparently animals are more sensitive to ghosts because they say so at the beginning of every episode. The stories are told using interviews with those involved, mixed with re-enactment type footage and utilizing “actual paranormal team footage”. The re-enactments are actually not all that bad, done mostly with the people telling the story while quick editing and shaky cam (actually more like snappy cam) is used to show the fake action. So it’s not scripted actors trying to double as the real people, which helps if your one of the many whom can’t stand re-enactment acting. And there’s no narration, but instead every so often some explanatory text is popped up onto the screen.

    The stories range in topic from a ghost that tells the future via EVP (electronic voice phenomena), to a demon that takes over a little Yorkie, to a candle store haunted by a ghost monkey. Yeah, a ghost monkey. But it’s not as fun as it sounds. Some of the shows have something as uneventful as a dog that doesn’t want to go in a basement, and that’s the affect on the animal. Then there are episodes where the animals are in real (supposed) danger. Each episode contains one or two stories, some better than others, but the two story episodes seem to be the easier ones to watch, especially if you don’t like the people suffering from the hauntings. 20 minutes is easier than 40, you know?

    This first season has 10 episodes with 15 total stories. They are as follows:

    Disc One: Lost Souls of the Asylum & Curse of the Candle Shop / Murder at the Black Horse & Coven of the Cat / The Ghost Box Prophecies / Terror at Maple Dale Farm / Demon House

    Disc Two: The Possession of Casse / Leave House / Lady In White & Thump In the Night / The Door & A Place To Die / Leave Now or Die & Ghost Town

    Whether or not this stuff is real is of course up for debate, but for those with an interest in the supernatural the show is entertaining enough. The lack of crappy acting re-enactments is incredibly helpful in making the show more watchable, and the night vision camera (you know, the green people with glowing eyes stuff) is used sparingly which for some viewers may also be a plus. And the fact that the show is not voice narrated, but instead uses text narration helps the show stay to one side of being corny. Most of the stories are pretty similar but there are a few that stand out as better than the rest. “The Ghost Box Prophecies”, for example, concerns a haunting where EVPs were recorded on a “ghost box” and when played back a ghostly voice says three things and they all come true: a fire in the house, a murder, and a dead dog. And the “Demon House” episode has footage from the ghost team where a little dog is supposedly possessed by a demon and they have footage of him acting out. Kind of interesting.

    The show overall is a decent way to pass the time, again if the supernatural floats your boat, and its pretty well done. Well done enough at least to give it some creep factor and keep away from sheer stupidity.

    The show is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen with varying degrees of image quality. Different cameras are used throughout keeping things inconsistent. The interviews are conducted with a black background and at times the black looks pretty muddy. And of course the night vision footage looks like garbage. But all in all it’s watchable and the portions filmed with a decent camera look fine. Colors look good as do skin tones. The audio is a 2.0 Dolby Digital track and everything sounds clear. The balance of speaking and music is good and there doesn’t seem to be trouble with any audio issues. Really the video/audio is run-of-the-mill.

    No extras; just chapter selections, four per episode.

    The Final Word:
    Ghosts shows can range from corny to crap with this one falling somewhere in between. The lack of any extras puts this DVD set in the category of “don’t spend too much money on this one.”

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Apparently animals are more sensitive to ghosts because they say so at the beginning of every episode

      Hahahahahahahaha, nice.
    1. Paul Casey's Avatar
      Paul Casey -
      Oh man, you're totally trying to make up for your Ratline "fight." haha
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I ain't making up for nothin. Shut your twat, Caul Pasey.
    1. Paul Casey's Avatar
      Paul Casey -
      My twat is like a 10 HD gibbering mouther...it'll never be silenced!