Kim Raver in Haunting Sarah (2005)

Raver's Twin Trouble

At a young age identical twins Erica & Heather (Kim Raver) realised that they have a connection on a whole other level. Now grown up with their own children they are still close as are their children Sarah (Niamh Wilson) and David (Ryland Thiessen) who are identical ages. This family bond is interrupted when one day David is killed by a reckless driver leaving Heather distraught. It also leaves Sarah distraught as she says she still speaks to David which leads to the now pregnant Erica taking Sarah to the country to try and sort out her increasingly bizarre problems. But things don't get any better and when Heather joins them they begin to fear what may happen when Erica gives birth.

Young identical twin girls playing in the front garden where one is blind folded and walks towards the busy road but stops at the curb having heard her twin's inner voice warning her to stop. It is an interesting way of starting "Haunting Sarah" and establishing this deeper level of connection between twins although when you think about it you have to wonder why two young girls wouldn't have found some safer way to test their special twin abilities. But then having leapt to the present this whole deeper connection thing takes a back seat as we then have the children of the twins maybe having some sort of deep connection. All of the above could have been quiet good except for those who don't do the twin thing what we have here is a dead child haunting his cousin and all the twin stuff is smoke and mirrors.

Ironically the realisation that this is just a haunted girl storyline is not the main issue with "Haunting Sarah" the fact that it isn't sure what it wants to be is. At times it feels like it wants to be a movie with a supernatural aspect but then it wants to be a story which makes us uneasy with this girl who does strange things as if she is possessed, it throws some premonition stuff in there and a whole lot more. Basically it feels like the writers watched a selection of horror movies and picked certain elements but didn't quite manage to blend them together in a gripping and effective way.

Part of the reason why "Haunting Sarah" fails to grip is director Ralph Hemecker is unable to create the right atmosphere and so you don't feel the spookiness of what is happening or feel the tension as things begin to escalate. In fact in the entire movie only one thing really stuck out and that was a camera shot from behind their jeep as they drove along the road. The way it was shot makes me think a long bar was attached to the back of the jeep to give this shot of following from an elevated position but in doing so delivers this interesting perspective that we are getting David's view as he follows Sarah to the summer house.

What this all boils down to is that "Haunting Sarah" has some interesting ideas but is unable to develop them in to an effective thriller. It means that in the end "Haunting Sarah" becomes a bit of a slog as it doesn't have the edge and intensity to truly work.