True Horror

1 out of 5

Directed by: Various

I am not a watcher of docu-drama type stuff.  I am not interested in “real life” haunted house stories because I tend to always see the failings in the tellings: the lack of multiple people experiencing the same thing at the same time; the way most things can be traced back to a personal trauma.  So the UKs True Horror series (rebroadcast on Shudder), which has dramatized recreations of four hauntings, mixed in with the talking heads who experienced them, holds little value to me.  Diminishing that value further: three out of the four episodes are variations on the same exact thing: spectres in the house; two of those even focus around “they’re trying to steal my baby” fears; three out of the four episodes have zero sense of danger because we touch base with all the no-longer-haunted participants in the modern day while we’re being shown the supposed incidents; every one of the episodes tends to represent its spooks in the same way – tall, dark, with a hat – and with the same set of music stings.  Some of the stuff sort of maybe works… but again, we never cross that line of believability: money woes, child woes, etc. are clear influences.

The last episode is actually worthwhile, because it doesn’t try to execute a fake out to convince us something actually happened, and, as the father of the family only appears in flashback and not the interviews, and is spoken of in the past tense, the story takes on more relevance as a trying emotional time, and not just oooh ghosts.  But this is one out of four, with the other three barely tolerable for their runtimes, so that’s still a failing grade.

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