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Paranormal Haunting: The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn

UK 2011
produced by
John Symes, Philip Gardiner, Warren Croyle (executive) for Reality Entertainment
directed by Philip Gardiner
starring John Symes, Andrew Gough, Suzy Deakin, Matthew Sheppard, Kerrie Denning, Amy Hall, Elle Wood, Corjan, James Earnshaw, Robert Feather, Melanie Denholme, Danielle Wood, Steve Mitchell, Mark Churchill, Martin Faulks, Morganna Bramah, Christine Moloney, Clare Staff, Natalie Shelton, Fiona De Souza
story by Philip Gardiner, screenplay by Philip Gardiner, John Symes, music by Audio Monk, title music by Corjan, songs by No Redemption, Wes Dolan, Radio Active Grandma, the Bard of Ely, Blutiger Fluss, special effects makeup by Gemma Simpson, Suzy Deakin, James Earnshaw

Matthew Hopkins

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Once every 100 years, the moon turns blue, a phenomenon that can only be seen from certain locations, like the Full Moon Inn, somewhere in the English countryside. The phenomenon has perfectly natural, atmospheric causes, and yet it serves as the root of many a superstition, so much so that the inn this year for blue moon attracts all kinds of weird folks, like the astrologer Madam Brai (Suzy Deakin) and her love slave Barbara (Elle Wood), the somewhat timid and undecided documentary filmmaker Steve Burton (Matthew Sheppard) and his sexually repressed wife Amanda (Kerrie Denning), and the astronomer and professional doubter professor Kepler (Andrew Gough) and his student turned lover Gail (Amy Hall).

But no matter whether or not they believe in the supernatural, all agree that something weird is going on in the inn. And is it a coincidence that their host (John Symes) is named after the legenary witchhunter Matthew Hopkins (see Witchfinder General for some - highly fictionalized - background information)?

Then a murder happens in the inn, and an eccentric inspector (Robert Feather) forces the six visitors to remain inside the hotel at all hours. However, Barbara, Amanda and Gail all disappear after finding some weird root figures in their beds, and now Hopkins does his best to keep their companions as nervous as humanly possible, until he eventually drugs them, and when they awaken they find themselves tied up and caught in their own private hells - before they are made the centerpiece of a sacrificial ritual Hopkins has arranged for his goddess ...

 

Somehow, you can't shake the feeling that you have seen everything Paranormal Haunting is made up from before, the haunted inn, the creepy innkeeper, the inspector with his own agenda, the heterogenous gang of investigators, the descent into the occult, and so on. And if you have watched enough British horror from the 1960's and 70's, you probably indeed have seen everything before.

But that doesn't make Paranormal Haunting a bad movie, because on one hand it is a loving hommage to the occult horror flicks of old, on the other Philip Gardiner is a versatile enough writer and director to put all the elements together in an original way, to make something fresh out of something tried and true, take the story into unexpected directions. And his professional knowledge about the occult (he has written books and made documentaries about the subject) sure helps, yet he never lets this knowledge interfere with his story.

Recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD