A Dead Calling (2006)
Okay I confess... I chose this movie purely because the first review I saw said it was the most awful piece of crap they'd ever seen. Easy pickings. They weren't far off. They lamented the waste of the talents of both Sid Haig and Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects) and said many, many awful things. Now it's my turn.
I had this movie pegged and my review done before half the movie was over, it was that obvious. Rachel, a journalist in New York is one night attacked by a burglar who ends up killing her fiance'. In her grief, she moves back home with her mom (a horribly overacted performance by Leslie Easterbrook) and her father (a still spooky without makeup Sid Haig). Here we have a MAJOR malfunction of continuity - she comes down to breakfast, her plate on the table with toast, eggs and a glass of juice. She sits and her father grabs her toast to butter it for her - the eggs have disappeared. The mother THEN puts the two eggs BACK on the plate. The incredible, edible, invisible egg.
Six months later she attempts to start working again at the small hometown Fillmore TV station. Her first assignment is to cover the architecture of certain mansions in town. The first one she picks she gets weird vibes from the place. She even 'witnesses' the murder of a woman there - but no one and nothing lives there. By now most of my review is written, this progression is old and worn to bits.
She's warned off of the place but returns, this time interrupting a young writer from the local paper who has equipment set up all over to try to 'catch' ghostly activity. In the middle of the night, she wakes, asking where he is. He says he's in the basement so she goes down. He then picks up activity UP the stairs and gets to the top when a man appears, twists his neck and breaks it, and he falls down the stairs dead. When she calls the police there is no body, no equipment, no murderer. There hasn't even been a paper since the 80's. A friend at the station helps her do research and they discover there was a young man who died of a broken neck in the house - 35 years ago. Massive duh and I'm almost done. I'm not even having to change much of my review, as everything is fitting as I'd figured.
They then discover that GP Dr. Sullivan, who owned the place, had been the subject of a large investigation into malpractice, malicious behavior and outrageous conduct. He killed two of his kids and his wife. One girl, 3 1/2 year old Elizabeth was the only survivor but no one knows where she went. Okay, my review is now done and I know I'm not going to have to change anything. Sure enough, as I well knew, the ghost of the woman she saw murdered appears before her saying 'Elizabeth help us.' MASSIVE DUH since Rachel does't get it. Doesn't get it? Really? But it finally sinks in that thick skull and we are subjected to the longest, most uncomfortable conversation between Rachel and her parents as to whether or not she was adopted. For crying out loud folks, even if Rachel had only been, say, 10, it should have gone a lot faster and smoother than you made it. Over acting is rampant in this scene and it goes on forever - and I DO mean forever.
Rachel runs out, now knowing what she must do - get peace for her real 'mother' and brother and sister. But Dr. Sullivan is a special kind of smart and extra special kind of nasty. He had several life sentences, but had escaped from prison the year before (again part of my notes already) and manages to kill the sheriff, the sheriff's son, steal his uniform, kill her adoptive father (sorry Sid) and then goes after his last child, Elizabeth. Rachel, believing to be the daughter of a maniac, asks her ghost mother what to do... like she knows? She's dead, obviously she had no idea.
Dr. Sullivan shows up at the house, shoots her new boyfriend from the station, then goes after her. It's now that she learns that he is not her real father (oh brother, can we please decide on something?). See, her mother had three kids but she was beautiful and he wanted her - but she was married. So he had her husband meets his doom in a car accident. BUT he kept his body in the basement. Why the hell would he do that? So he's killed almost everyone she cared about, but at least she's not related to him. That's something, right? Right? Not enough. Not NEAR enough. There is a protracted chase throughout the house, ending up on the roof, when she takes a plank of wood and finally knocks him off to die on the ground. FINALLY.
Now we're back in New York and Rachel is at her old job. Her new boyfriend has followed her there. She's enjoying her life again (never mind that she left her mother all alone). We see her latest broadcast and she walks down the street. As the final BOO of the movie the TV shows brief static and Dr. Sullivan's face appears briefly. Whoopee. What a colossal waste of time. And talent.