[box cover]

Haunted

Aidan Quinn stars as a debunker of paranormal phenomena in this clever, intriguing, but ultimately unguided 1995 ghost story adapted from the novel by James Herbert. Inspired by a comment made during a phony seance, Quinn travels to a remote manor where the long-serving nanny of three grown, but odd, children claims to be seeing ghosts. His investigation, however, is distracted by the bewitching, forward, and often naked charms of Kate Beckinsale. Director Lewis Gilbert, a veteran of three James Bond films and Alfie, proves himself a worthy, if unexceptional, helmsman for this prickly tale's events and twists, until it all goes haywire at the end, saving for its climax a lousy (and dumb) special effect and an even stupider final scene that is both clichéd and unnecessary. Before the film's tepid demise, however, the solid cast, including an appearance by Sir John Gielgud, earns its keep. Presented in a decent 1.33:1 transfer (which claims to be full-frame, although there appears to be cropping in at least one scene). Audio is in Dolby 2.0 Surround. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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