When I first gazed at the DVD and read the title The Haunting Of Marsten Manor, I allowed my imagination to run wild with what was going to be presented before me on the screen. I imagined slamming doors, ghostly apparitions, half naked screaming girls running around the manor being stalked by murderous ghosts and an atmosphere which was going to send shivers through my very spine. Sadly I was disappointed on all counts!!!
Our film opens with Jill Marsten attending the reading of her aunt’s will. She has been left Marsten Manor, the ancestral home. Jill has never visited her aunt’s house before and to inherit it comes as a shock to her. Jill has issues with being blind and is happy to rely on lovestruck Rob to look after her every whim. Erika, her friend, spends most of the film continuously telling Rob to back off from Jill and allow her to deal with being blind herself ‘Come on Rob! Just because you love her doesn’t mean you have to be her lap dog does it?’ etc.
In the first 8 minutes of the film Jill is confronted by a female ghost who calls out her name and beckons Jill to follow her. Jill doesn’t want go so does as all good scream queens do and yells out in fright! Gill continues to be confronted by the ghost throughout most of the film and we see a vague glimpse of a male ghosts shoes. He appears when Erika is in a room alone. Jill also hears the ghost through recordings she has made on the webcam attached to her laptop. Spooky.
The biggest blooper in this film is when the 3 friends stumble upon the family bible and miraculously, in the 1800s people had invented highlighters and red ink (The first edition of a bible to include red lettering was created in 1899, 80 years later).
Every house has to have a secret passage right? Well guess what, this one does do! Surprised? (No, I thought not).
Jill finds the relevance of this secret passage and the reason for the ghost wanting her to follow her throughout the course of our ghost story. We’re then confronted with soldiers from the civil war who are happy to walk past electrical appliances and not make any comments about them – surely they would think that the items were something from another world?
This film would be easy viewing for a family as there is no nudity or scenes of knife wielding or decapitation. As a whole, this is purely a ghost story and doesn’t really have any scary or frightening moments. There are some telekinetic effects used in the film which work well within the context of this type of movie, but overall I was not very impressed with the lack of tension or scares experienced whilst sitting through it.
It took nearly 60 minutes before the film even started to get relatively exciting.
Also, the only good acting skills apparent during the film come from Brianne Davis who is not only quite comical at times but is also very nice on the eye as well. The overall purpose of the film appears to be that ‘if you’re blind it doesn’t matter as you can live a normal life just like everyone else’. Not an overly scary message
I would recommend this film to a first time horror movie viewer who is very easily scared and does not mind watching a film which has been made on a relatively miniscule budget. You also need to be someone who likes morals in their films and who doesn’t mind waiting nearly 90 minutes to be let down by a relatively non eventful ending.
All in all it isn’t a bad film, though appears to have been the last film made to date by the director Dave Sapp. Hmmm… Funny that.