Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour Movie Poster Image

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

(i)

 

Clumsy, tween-focused thriller wastes potential.
  • Review Date: October 22, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 81 minutes

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 19, 2007
DVD release date:September 8, 2008
Cast:Brian Comrie, Dan Comrie, Rissa Walters
Director:Lisa Comrie
Studio:Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Genre:Horror
Topics:Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:81 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements, mild peril and language.

This review of Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 8 and 18+ year old Written byShaySydney April 6, 2010

Good Suspense Movies for Tweens ( 10-14 )

I'm 18 years old and i have been working with kids since Iwas 14 years old. I also have a lot of younger cousin who i babysit often. i found this movie when i was planing a movie day for some kids i work with from the ages of 10-12. i thought this movie was great because tons of suspense but no really scary things. All of the kids loved it and some of the parents wanted to buy the movie. The only issuses I really have with the movie is that the first part of the movie is a little slow and they say the word Crap a lot. I really like this movie because I feel its kind of a starter scary movie. On top of this movie went straight to DVD so its like seeing a brand new movie. If you have or work with tweens from the ages of 10-14 years old and you dont mind the word crap this is a great movie for them.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byschuymarch1 April 9, 2008
Adult Written byponste1 March 5, 2011
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models

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