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Sightings: Heartland Ghost

DVD

**1/2

Directed by

Brian Trenchard-Smith

Writing credits

Phil Penningroth

Randy Birch .... J.T. Ginnis

Beau Bridges .... Derek

Richard Halliday .... Photographer

Lori Ravensborg .... Jules Berens

Nia Long .... Lou

Thea Gill .... Pam

Gabriel Olds .... Jeff

Matthew Currie Holmes .... Nolan

Miguel Ferrer .... Allen

Trevor Roberts .... Arnold

Joe Norman Shaw .... Buddy

Jennifer Sterling .... Donna

Stephen Hair .... Manager

R

105 min

2002

This
is, allegedly, based on true events. Partially, anyway - it's also
based on the Showtime original series Sightings. Don't worrythey get
plenty of chances to hawk the show IN the film, too. Nothing like a
two-hour commercial for a show that isn't even running all that often
anymore.

Yet, what we've got here is interesting. A fellow in an
1880s house he plans to fix up for resale is having some disturbing
dreams and assorted paranormal occurrences, and the 'Sightings' team is
called in to debunk it. Just as they debunk a ritual invoking
Promethius in the first ten minutes that turns out to involve
chemical-coated wood. Why do we have to continually drag these bogus
pagan rituals into everything? Used to be all we needed was an evil
monster, or a couple zombies, and we had a movie! Now we can't do a
damn thing without chanting "wunga wunga" at the nearest tree, rock, or
painted stick.

Things don't get much better back at the house
where all the baby's teddy bears are mysteriously arranged in a circle
on the floor. Well, I guess today's the day the teddy bears have their
sance

The residents of the house put the bears back on the
shelf, and the very next day, the teddy bears are on the floor in the
circle again. The weirdness doesn't stop there, though, as a stuffed
duck flies off a shelf and collides with a friend on the couch.

The
'Sightings' team wonders if something's going onbut they can't seem to
find the particular zipper on this monster costume, so they decide an
investigation is in order.

Things get worse back at the dream house: Candles light of their own accord, and so-called 'cold spots' travel the house.

The
'Sightings' team, operating under plenty of healthy skepticism, goes
forth to investigate and finds something serious in the house - a
sorrowful woman, a little girl named Sally, and 'a rageful, angry
presence'. So they say, anyway. The team breaks for the evening to
study the footage and leaves a box of toys for the little girl.

The
investigation continues on, with more and more bizarre things taking
place, and the 'Sightings' team rapidly builds its case. In fact, they
move to build such an unstoppable case that they bring in a technical
expert with a dozen different cameras and biometric tracking pieces.

It
all hits the fan a few minutes later - roses start smoking, the
temperature plummets, horrors of every size and description arise. The
'Sightings' crew is earning its pay.

The 'Sightings' crew packs
up to leave, leaving our young couple to face down the horrors left in
their house. As the residents confront the ghosts in their house, the
house decides to fight back, igniting a flame with the couple trapped
in a room. The 'Sightings' crew, of course, manages to intervene and
save the residents from a certain fiery death. It's not over yet for
the Sightings crew They go back into the burned-out wreckage to
investigate once again, for a final spiffy twist. Pay careful attention
to our cynical host in the beginning - something he says earlier in the
film will come back to 'haunt' him, if I could be permitted a small bon
mot.

The couple still lives in the town, in a different house,
the ending text tells us, and new owners have the haunted house. Yet,
the new owners report no trouble whatever - a fairly uplifting ending.

So
there we have it. No bonus features, no trailers, no deleted scenes, no
documentary footage or extra bits of any kind. Not even so much as a
subtitle.

All in all, Sightings: Heartland Ghost is a two-hour
ad for the show Sightings, but it could have been much, much worse than
it was. Surprisingly original with a clever twist ending, you could do
far worse than the offbeat, and scary, Sightings: Heartland Ghost.



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