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A Haunting in Cawdor 

Wednesday, Mar 9 2016
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There's potential for a fun horror movie with Phil Wurtzel's A Haunting in Cawdor, but the end result is as uninspired as its title. Vivian (Shelby Young) is a young convict who's sent to a work-release program at the Barn Theatre in the small town of Cawdor, where she and her fellow parolees are recruited by theater director Lawrence (Cary Elwes), who informs them that they'll be staging Shakespeare's Macbeth — with the strict stipulation not to mention the play's name aloud, in accordance with theater tradition. But both Vivian and Lawrence have their own dark secrets, and when Vivian watches a tape of Lawrence's previous Lady Macbeth ingénue Jeanette (Alexandria DeBerry), all hell breaks loose — sort of. The picture never rises above its own limitations, and tends to stumble when it tries to be creative cinematically, particularly an egregious hand-held orbiting camera shot that makes what should be a crucial scene all but unwatchable. Low-budget, regional horror films can have their charms, but A Haunting in Cawdor is devoid of dramatic tension, often feeling like the story was reverse-engineered from the location. In fact, director Wurtzel also made a documentary about the real-life theatre calledThe Barn Theatre: Tomorrow's Stars Today, which is almost certainly more entertaining than A Haunting in Cawdor.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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