Fighting the Past
When he was a child October's (Sean Elliot) father Russell (Lance Henriksen) adopted a daughter and all was well till something happened which drove a wedge between the father and son. Many years later and having not spoken for a long time October decides to head home and spend a few days with Russell hiking and hunting in the woods in the hope they can deal with what happened all those years earlier which spoiled their father son relationship. But as they enter the woods something strange happens as Russell ends up injured after being spooked by something and October is plagued by flashbacks of his childhood.
If they handed out awards for almost doing something special then "Haunted", which also goes by the name "It's in the Blood", would be first in line as it almost pulls of the thinking man's horror. I say almost and the issue which "Haunted" has is that the two ideas it uses fail to really come together which is a shame as both are worked well, they just don't work well together.
So kicking things off we have this obviously troubled relationship between October and his father Russell and whilst we don't know what it is we can sense that whilst they love each other and have some good times they are different people with October being more sensitive than the hardened Russell. And actors Sean Elliot and Lance Henriksen really bring this father son chemistry to life in an effectively believable way. But of course we also have the intrigue, what occurred all those years earlier which drove a wedge between father and son and it is worked in a decent manner so that we are curious because what we are drip fed is unsettling in its suggestion of rape.
But then whilst this is unfolding we have the secondary element, what the heck is going on in the woods which has left them in a dangerous predicament with Russell badly injured. I won't go in to detail other than to say aspects of it reminded me of "Predator" and it is because of this that the thinking man's side and this action, more typical horror side don't really work well together, they are just two different. The sad thing is, is that director Scooter Downey works both sides well it is just that the mystery of the past which has left October damaged and prone to cutting himself doesn't work well with what ever scary thing it is lurking in the woods which is leaving them traumatised and in danger.
What this all boils down to is that I like "Haunted" because it tries to be more than a horror movie and it gets extremely close. But the distance between the two ideas is too much for them to come together in a coherent manner despite everyone's best attempts to make it work.