Review: A Haunting In Cawdor

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A Haunting in Cawdor takes inspiration from Macbeth with an interesting narrative centred on helping juvenile delinquents.

Vivian Miller (Shelby Young) is serving out her jail sentence at a work release program in the Midwest that involves a theatre program at The Cawdor Barn Theatre run by Lawrence O’Neil (Cary Elwes). She has 90 days to stay alive. Vivian watches an old taped stage production of Macbeth and with the help of the enigmatic Roddy (Michael Welch) tries to uncover what the killer wants before it strikes again. Will real life imitate art and the reputed curse of the Scottish play become a reality?

This is written by Phil Wurtzel and it is not without its failings. Despite the relatively low budget, the Macbeth metaphors are well done and there are a couple of novel twists. It is an interesting take on Macbeth – not an adaption but the Scottish play serves as an inspiration to help with the narrative.

It opened across the UK on 9 October.

Overall, I found this movie dull, but it could have been saved with more in-depth characters. We really don’t know much about the troubled young adults who come to the Barn Theatre for “rehab”. We know what happened to Vivian, but we don’t really know her.

In addition, it just was not scary. It really needed some more haunting moments.

Cary Elwes shines as the tortured soul trying to save a dying little theatre, while running from his own demons – his performance at the end is intense and moving.

A painfully slow-paced movie saved by good acting. Worth watching if you can be patient with it’s slow pace.

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