Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour Movie Poster Image
Clumsy, tween-focused thriller wastes potential.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

A mother goes crazy and emotionally abandons her children, one of whom is being haunted by the ghost of an old man. But his brother and friend work together to save him. An older man berates a young boy because he's suspicious.

Violence

A ghost haunts Pine Valley residents; it steps into the body of an old, unsuspecting woman and proceeds to fire a shotgun at its young target.

Sex

Some mild kissing.

Language

Rare use of the words "ass" and "crap."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that though this tween-targeted, PG-rated "horror" movie is pretty tame -- there's no serious swearing, just a little kissing, and no real gore -- some parts may still be too scary for little kids. The ghostly special effects aren't sophisticated, but sensitive young viewers may be convinced enough to be frightened. Talk of evil spirits and supernatural rituals may also disturb, as may a scene in which an old woman parades around with a shotgun.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byashalles098 June 27, 2011

Too scary for 11 year old

I don't think this movie is for most 11-12 years old. It has a lot of tense, scary moments with scary music tracks. Way too much suggestion and details on... Continue reading
Adult Written byponste1 March 5, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written byThimmelright December 27, 2019
Kid, 12 years old October 8, 2011

Really good

this movie very clean, and actually pretty scary! congratulations to whoever made this for making a good, family friendly thriller

What's the story?

In SARAH LANDON AND THE PARANORMAL HOUR, the titular teen becomes embroiled in ghostly doings in small-town Pine Valley. Lacking the artificial gloss of tabloid regulars, she comes across as the perfect girl next door who gets pulled into a mystery not of her own doing. Upon arriving in Pine Valley, Sarah quickly unearths the town's worst-kept secret: that 20-year-old David Baker (Brian Comrie) is convinced he's being hunted down by the malevolent spirit of Ben Woods (Rusty Hanes). Ben is the father of David's old friend, Johnny, who died when a car being driven by David's mother (Nicole des Coteaux) was in an accident. Is it possible for the dead to haunt the living? And does this mean David will die on his 21st birthday?

Is it any good?

Here's what good about Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour: Rissa Walters. Though the young actress is rough around the edges, she brings a sweetness to Sarah. Writer-director Lisa Comrie displays a rudimentary understanding of suspense-building. Though she often overplays her hand, some scenes manage to goose viewers effectively -- despite the restlessness that's likely to beset them the rest of the time. Because although Comrie has the best intentions, Sarah Landon is beyond amateurish.

The premise is interesting enough, but any promise is quickly overwhelmed by Lisa Comrie's clear inexperience. Camera set-ups are awkward, transitions are ragged, and the plot is full of holes. Casting her brothers (and other family members) in lead roles also proves to be a bad idea, as evidenced by their ham-handed approach. (Dan Comrie is smoother as David's younger brother, Matt). The big "confrontation scene" is almost laughable for its superficiality; you have to wonder what would have happened had Comrie had the ability to dig deeper to find a resolution.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the supernatural. Do you believe in haunted houses, spirits, or paranormal events? If so, why? If not, why? Why is Hollywood so interested in ghost stories? What makes them so compelling? Is it fun to get scared at the movies? Why or why not? Why do you think some people like horror movies and others don't?

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