THE HAUNTING OF AMELIA (AKA THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS) DVD Review
THE HAUNTING OF AMELIA, also known as THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS, was filmed in 2008 but just recently released to DVD. Amelia (I’m going to continue to call it that since that’s what my screener is titled!) sounded good… on paper the story sounded REALLY good.
But once it was put to film? Something happened… and it wasn’t great.
I consider myself a horror buff; I’ll watch ANYTHING from the horror genre and have sat through some good, bad, and ugly. While The Haunting of Amelia doesn’t fall into the “ugly” category, it was definitely not good.
We start out with Josh (Brenden Fehr) walking along some train tracks, and are offered a flash back where we see a car being hit by an oncoming train. We can’t see who is inside the car, but judging by Josh’s actions, we’re led to believe that it was his girlfriend Amelia.
Since her death 10 years ago, Josh has been living alone in a dilapidated house with nothing but a shrine of sorts to his lost love on his dresser. His 10 year reunion is coming up, which causes his best friend Rusty (Chad Lindberg) to come back to town.
Rusty becomes concerned for his friend, especially when he starts talking about a girl that he met named Amelia (Tania Raymonde) that no one has seen. He tries to snap Josh out of his depression, but isn’t very successful.
I won’t give away the ending, even though you can see it coming a mile away, but suffice to say that I almost fell asleep a few times while watching this film. The title is misleading – there isn’t a lot of “haunting” going on at all.
There are a few “scares” (and I use that term loosely since even the scares weren’t scary) which utilized makeup more than any suspense; and are few and VERY, VERY far between.
The slow story isn’t the only downfall of Amelia, unfortunately. I understand that this is an independent horror film, and I am a SUPREME advocate of indie horror. However, A.D. Calvo leaves A LOT to be desired between the shoddy directing choices (a few of the frames weren’t framing close to anything important), the poor writing (there was PAINFUL dialogue that made me cringe in a NUMBER of scenes), to the just… BAD sound quality (which I can’t blame on Calvo, he didn’t have anything to do with the sound), The Haunting of Amelia was a big let down.
Now that I’ve torn the film to shreds, let’s talk about some of the good things. Chad Lindberg plays Rusty VERY well, and aside from seeing the guy type cast in several films (Rusty was a poor man’s version of Lindberg’s Ash from Supernatural) his choices as an actor carried the scenes that he was in, and he did what he could with the limited plot and dialogue.
… that’s about it for the positive.
While I keep calling the film The Haunting of Amelia, it seems that The Other Side of the Tracks would be a better title choice. It doesn’t give the viewer the impression that they’re in for a full fledged horror movie the way Amelia does, which could alleviate some disappointment.
Overall, I’d say catch The Haunting of Amelia if it airs on television (and you have nothing else to watch), but don’t go out of your way to find the DVD.
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