Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

Rated 2.0

A teenage girl visiting a small town (Rissa Walters) becomes involved in a legend about the ghost of a local man, who swore to return and kill his nephew (Brian Comrie) on his twenty-first birthday. This effort to establish a sort of occult Nancy Drew series seems to be something of a Comrie family project: director Lisa, writer John, co-stars Brian, Dan and Rick. Andrew Kuepper’s cinematography looks like hi-def video—flat and featureless in a way that doesn’t contribute to a spooky atmosphere—and performances are awkward in a high-school-drama-club way; it seems as if the young actors are nervously glancing toward the camera out of the corners of their eyes. For all that, however, the story is engaging enough to shine through the stilted dialogue, and director Lisa C. manages some delicious chills.