The Woman In White
Demon In The Dark
Children Of The Well
It’s hard to know where to start with Netflix’s horror/reality TV mash-up. From the psychologically damaged individuals sitting in armchairs retelling their childhood to the incredulous incidents that occur in the stories themselves, Haunted is a difficult watch in the worst possible way. With no evidence or facts to support these outlandish tales, Haunted gets by based on its recreated imagery alone and even then, the series hangs by a thread for much of its run time.
Working as a horror anthology, Haunted’s six episodes are broken up into 25 minute bite-size chunks with a different story told in each episode. From a mysterious woman in white stalking a young boy through to alien experiments, Haunted begins at the extreme end of hauntings and quickly careers off track. The stories themselves hinge on the unbelievable with a lack of substantial evidence only further hurting every story retold. Whether these individuals really experienced these things or are just actors making a quick buck, Haunted is arguably one of the worst shows released this year.
In what seems to be a staple of reality TV, the conversations between the re-enactments feel staged and forced. Deliberately placed questions are used to enhance parts of the story and worse, the familiar high-pitched string chime plays during these moments to. For anyone who’s ever watched anything reality TV based, this noise will be distinctly familiar. It’s a shame too as if these people aren’t actors they clearly need help for the trauma they’ve experienced as children. Some of the stories even begin with child abuse and this has been shown time and again to be linked with seeing unexplained phenomena.
Those enthused by shows tackling real life ghost stories or enjoy a fantastical story regardless of its validity or not may well find some enjoyment here. The episodes are short enough that they don’t feel dragged out while long enough to get absorbed into the lives of these individuals. Some of the imagery used in the re-enactments aren’t bad either and at times the use of colour and lighting is used to good effect to really bring these people’s stories to life.
Haunted may not be the absolute worst show released this year but it’s certainly not even close to being considered passable. The stories lack credibility, propped up by re-enactments to enhance the story while lacking any sort of evidence or facts to back up these outlandish claims. The reality TV feel to a lot of the discussions doesn’t help either and the whole show tailors to a very specific market that’s likely going to find their fix away from the streaming platform. If these are real people and not actors they don’t need a television show they need psychiatric help and the sad truth is, in the world we live in it’s more profitable to sell your story than it is to get help. Perhaps that’s the most horrifying thing about Haunted.