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Case Number 18836

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Haunted (2002)

Phase 4 Films // 2002 // 460 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 5th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is haunted by the regrets of lost loves.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Haunted (1996) (published September 5th, 2001) and Maria's B-Movie Mayhem: Haunted (published September 2nd, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

Matthew Fox is haunted.

Opening Statement

That's what the back of the disc case says. Haunted by what? The implosion of this TV show?

Facts of the Case

Or not, because if this thing had been a success, he might have missed out on all that Lost money. Haunted ran for only a handful of episodes on the now-defunct UPN network and starred Fox (Vantage Point) as Frank Taylor, a cop on the rise in Seattle's law enforcement community. But when his son is kidnapped, his marriage goes down the tubes and he goes off the deep end, desperate to find him. His search brings him into contact with a suspect and the two wrestle around on the ground a bit. During the course of the fight Frank kills him, but also gets shot.

On the operating table he dies for a brief period of time, but is resuscitated. Back in the land of the living he realizes he's come away with a unique power: the ability to talk to dead people.

The Evidence

This is an odd series to unearth and release on DVD. Matthew Fox's supernatural detective adventure only ran for a handful of episodes before it was yanked from the airwaves. The eleven shows on these two discs constitute the entirety of its existence. Did it really last long enough to make an impact on enough viewers, compelling them to one day buy this set? Or perhaps it's Fox's mug on the case that Phase 4 is hoping will lure potential shoppers. In other words, business as usual.

Still, Haunted isn't half-bad. As a series, it's hard to judge seeing it was on for so little time and didn't have a chance to dig its heels in and work out the kinks, but there was potential there. Fox is cool in the lead, a little more Alpha-male than Jack Shephard. He's tenacious and can punch guys in the head when called upon. As someone reckoning with the undead, Fox brings a nice facial expression of freaking out, which I suppose is what a hardboiled cop would be expected to display when the ghost of his son's kidnapper keeps appearing and yapping at him.

The cases are standard-issue investigations, with a supernatural twist tossed in. As happens with most crime shows there will be a couple of suspects for you to choose from, and I guarantee that more often than not you'll pinpoint the ne'er-do-well. But it's satisfying to see Frank eventually smack the perpetrator around.

There's not much else to say. This series was so blink-and-you-missed-it (I never heard of the show until now and this would have been something I likely would have scoped out), its release is a bit perplexing. As a show, it's adequate, though not as entertaining as Joss Whedon's supernatural creations or as weird and plot-heavy as The X-Files. That and the fact it was on UPN probably point to its early demise.

Very little happening with the DVD set, the transfer landing in full-frame and 2.0 stereo with no extras on board.

Closing Statement

A serviceable spook-filled procedural finds half-assed life on DVD.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Boo!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 70
Audio: 80
Extras: 0
Acting: 80
Story: 75
Judgment: 74

Perp Profile

Studio: Phase 4 Films
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 460 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Drama
• Television
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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