A Savannah Haunting film review


It is the season for great scares with tons of movies for those into the horror genre. A unique film in this genre with a psychological terror spin, will be premiering October 28th, 2022 in limited theatrical release domestically and digitally on Apple iTunes. What makes this story disturbing is it based on true events in the home of the Producer, Director, and Writer William Mark McCullough. The McCullough family experienced terrifying moments that would make you ask questions about what is living inside the walls of this house.

“A Savannah Haunting” is produced by innovative Emmy Award Nominee Alexis Nelson and her talented partner William Mark McCullough, independently funded, and distributed through Vertical Entertainment. I love that it is independently produced and is a product of a love from the filmmakers. It is shot beautifully with great attention to color themes and Southern Gothic elements. The movie runs one hour, and 43 minutes. You are engaged the entire time trying to figure out what is real and what is paranormal. The psychological spin unfolds with a master hand.

The story opens with a family moving into their new house. A happy, suburban family with two kids and normal family drama…until… they move into this house. The kids isolation and loneliness and the mom’s inability to manage her own life with a father who works long hours sets up the bait for the dark entities. The house is beautiful old house with a lot of history. Some of the history is not very flattering.  In the beginning of the story, the focus is on the mother and her psychological issues dealing with the loss of a child. The daughter hints that mom had some problems in their previous home but doesn’t elaborate. The mom meets with a psychiatrist weekly. She tells the psychiatrist she is grieving the loss of their daughter. No one else in the family seems to be suffering this grief or acknowledges that they had a sibling. What is going on here? We watch because this mystery is something we want answered. It begins to take a downward turn when we start to see that the mom is seeing things in the house that she shouldn’t be seeing. Is it her? Or is it the house? The daughter begins school and feels out of place, and her loneliness deepens. She meets a sexy beauty outside of school when she goes exploring in the woods behind the house. The beauty begins to seduce her gently but never really explains where she comes from. The sexy moments distract us from the horror for a moment until the relationship develops a too good to be true feeling. The son begins to see an invisible friend and finds a creepy doll that he won’t get rid of. He talks to her and to someone in the closet. The creepy events that begin to happen to the family begin to make us wonder what is real and what is part of the psychological issues of the mother. Is there something evil in the house?

There are undertones about racism connected to the house and the complex legacy of hate stemming from the days of slavery merging with modern exploitation of racism that lies hidden in the population of people hiding this in plain sight. In this story, it leads to an explosion of passionate, disruptive, dark energy living in the bones of the house.

The twists and turns with bumps and noises in the night begin to make us look out the corner of our eyes to see if there is something lurking in the shadows. The mom throws away the doll her son has bonded with, but it re-emerges. Mom meets a stranger (played by William Mark McCullough) on the road who is a little bit off. He appears a day later at her doorstep. The mom begins to unravel with deeper problems revealing that grief is ripping her mind apart. She starts to behave bizarrely.  The movie enters a dark, disturbing, and creepy transition that leads to the climatic ending.  The father who is never home starts to figure out that the house is not exactly what he thought it was. The world of the family is pulled apart when the supernatural events begin to unravel in the final moments that takes us back into the past and reveals the dark evil infecting their lives. I won’t reveal everything here because I want you to see this film, it is meant to be experienced and seen.

See this film. It is scary, disturbing film and a great addition to the horror genre. Brilliant cast, beautifully shot, and love the history of the house. It will become a horror classic that weaves the true paranormal events inside the house into a scary horrifying story deeply rooted into the mythological of hauntings in the city of Savannah and the experience of the McCullough family.

I will tell you this now. I would never stay a night at the McCullough home. I’m not brave enough. Tell me if you’d be brave enough.

“A Savannah Haunting” is released October 28th, 2022, by Vertical Entertainment in limited theaters and is available on Apple iTunes at this link https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/a-savannah-haunting/id1648294754. The website for the movie is here, https://www.asavannahhaunting.com/.


About Author

Akiko Ashley

Akiko Ashley is Founder and Partner in Luminetik Studios in Santa Monica California. Akiko has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years in video games, music, and film (producer, VFX producer, and animation production). Luminetik has done a full CG short based on their own IP ahead of it's time in "Kuriocity" with two female leads in 2007. Luminetik has worked done VFX for motion pictures, television, & commercials including a set of Superbowl Commercials for Arm & Hammer starring Jason Giambi. Akiko helped Luminetik become one of the first sponsors of DV Expo in NYC. Akiko has been a strategic advisor to Architosh magazine for 10 years and has been on the Advisory Board of Keyframe Magazine and HDRI Magazine. Akiko has been a speaker at SIGGRAPH, and did speaking engagements at Art Institute for for IGDA. Currently Akiko is freelance producer, and freelance editor and writer for young adult books, comics and magazines. In addition she is a photographer capturing candid moments of celebrities and other well known personalities.

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