#140 -- "A" Challenge: A Dead Calling (2006)

Director: Michael Feifer
Rating: 3/5

Rachel Beckwith was a successful investigative reporter. In the world of horror, that's actually a pretty dangerous job to have. One night, someone who was obviously angry about one of her stories, broke into her house and killed her fiance. The death of her soon to be husband led her to move back home with her parents, George and Marge. It also led her to a new reporting job, and that job led her to a haunted house. She was supposed to do a story about the architecture of nearby houses, but she never got any farther than that one house. She kept seeing the apparitions of a family that lived there twenty-five years ago. There was a crazy doctor, Frank Sullivan, who performed some unorthodox surgeries in his basement and killed his entire family. Well, almost his entire family; his youngest child, Elizabeth, survived and was sent to foster care. Even though Rachel was frightened and thought she was losing her mind for a minute, she just couldn't stay away from the house. She said that it was calling her. With her new boss (and possibly her new boyfriend), she set out to find answers to the mystery of the murders in the house. Meanwhile, Frank Sullivan escaped from prison, and he set out to find his surviving daughter, Elizabeth. Rachel eventually found out some unsettling news about her true parentage, and it seemed like she was the only one who could possibly give the Sullivan ghosts peace.
I was interested in this one because of the cast. We had Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses) as Rachel's father, Leslie Easterbrook (Mother Firefly from House of 1000 Corpses) as Rachel's mother, and Bill Moseley (Otis from House of 1000 Corpses) as Sheriff Murkin. So, with all those wonderful people, I figured I should check it out. I thought it might be pretty damn good. It was cool seeing Captain Spaulding all cleaned up and domesticated, and Mother Firefly not being so damn creepy. Otis looked a lot different without the long blond hair, and the only reason I knew for sure it was him was his voice. But I'm getting off topic. Was I right? No, not really. The movie was okay, but it really wasn't all that great. The big surprise about Rachel being adopted was revealed to soon, in my opinion. It should have waited and had more of a buildup. It was also kind of anticlimactic. Also, as soon as she realized she was adopted, she knew right away who her parents were. I think it would have been better had she found out directly from the source, and had been just as shocked as the rest of us. I, personally, was not shocked at all. It was predictable.

I always find something wrong with the movies I watch. I'm starting to feel kind of like a bitch, and it's kind of upsetting me. I don't know why I'm suddenly so picky. Why can't I just watch and enjoy? I think I've seen so many horror movies by now that I've got my own idea of how I want them to go. I don't know, but I'd like to find some more out there that I can just enjoy without having to find something that could have been done better. But oh well. You win some, you lose some, as they say. A Dead Calling was an okay movie. It had a pretty good story and good acting, but it lacked atmosphere and suspense. More of a drama than anything, it didn't impress me as much as the cast led me to believe it would.

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