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"Haunted" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 10/09/2002

Good old Matthew Fox.  For six years, he played the cancer-stricken Charlie Salinger on the depressing hit FOX series “Party of Five.”  In his new role on UPN’s new series “Haunted,” not only is his role depressing, but also it is very creepy and weird.


Fox plays private investigator Frank Taylor.  Four years ago, he was a career police detective.  He had a great relationship with his partner, Marcus Bradshaw (Russell Hornsby), and a happy family life with his wife, Jessica (Lynn Collins), and their son.  That all changed when their child was kidnapped and never found. Frank, now divorced from Jessica (even though he still pines for her and leans on her emotionally), is working on a case one day when he finds his life changed forever after a near-death experience results in his being haunted by dead people stuck in limbo that help him in solving a variety of cases.  Usually the dead person he sees is the missing person he is looking for, or at least they are related to his case at the time.  The main ghost Frank sees is Simon Dunn (John F. Mann), a creepy pale spirit whose intentions for Frank aren’t immediately apparent, but they can’t be too good, since he is so creepy and all.  The only one who fully believes in his vision is Dante (Michael Irby), a tattoo artist and wholehearted believer in the supernatural.  Dante believes things that even Frank has trouble believing.  As Frank reluctantly accepts his finely tuned awareness, he changes from a skeptical non-believer to a seer and savior of the dead.


This show is very dark and scary.  If you do watch it, turn the lights out for that added eerie mood.  It is always dark on the show, and it seems to be raining a lot.  It’s nice to have a good scary show on TV, but it can get a little depressing.  Unlike “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the show that precedes it on UPN, it has no lightness to it whatsoever.  It almost makes “Party of Five” look chipper.  “Buffy” has set a standard that every show strives to live up to, and “Haunted” just doesn’t do that.


Okay, not every show has to mix comedy and drama (or action, or chills.)  I guess I just like to mix my styles together a little, because if you are bogged down in one style week after week, it can get a little boring.  I’m glad Fox has finally come back to TV, but is he suffering from depression or something?  I am trying to imagine him in a sitcom, and that is a disturbing thought in itself, so maybe he is on the right track.


Haunted” may not last long (based on the ratings for the first few weeks), but until it does get cancelled, check it out at least once.  If it doesn’t creep you out at least once, then it wasn’t doing its job.  You may not be afraid to watch it, but as Yoda says in The Empire Strikes Back, “You will be, you will be…” (I have to throw in a geekism here and there to remind you that this is a geek site…be afraid, be very afraid…okay, I’ll stop now.)


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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