Plot: Holly (Devanny Pinn) has been granted permission to meet with her brother, who is locked up in a mental institution for murder, as he was convicted of killing his own parents. She hopes to find some answers, but the visit opens more questions instead and she is more convinced than ever that the case isn’t clear as it seems. That means there has to be be answers to seek out, especially with her brother obsessed with drawing the same woman over and over again. As if that isn’t enough, Holly is soon haunted by dark, horrific nightmares that also seem to be connected to the woman in the sketches. But as the woman in question is infamous murder victim Elizabeth Short (Alexis Iacono), how do these threads weave together?
Entertainment Value: I don’t mind a slow burn thriller, but to call the pace in The Black Dahlia Haunting glacial would be generous. The movie is half over before much of anything happens and when the narrative does kick in, it is just a convoluted, forgettable mess. The story here isn’t an interesting premise to begin with, but the various twists and turns do little to add spice to the bland recipe, hoping some mild violence and a true crime connection will compensate. The Black Dahlia case is of course fascinating and could have added some punch to this movie, but you need a solid narrative to tie it into, which this picture doesn’t have. The movie has little style to offer either, with jumpy visuals and repetitive loops of the same scenes, which start to grate quickly and only drag down the entire movie. The cast isn’t great, but the blame lies with the script, as most of the performers give it their best. Cleve Hall and Jessica Cameron are on deck, while Devanny Pinn does what she can in the lead, but this material just gives her very little to work with. I love a lot of low rent, independent horror, but The Black Dahlia Haunting is an absolute bore.
This one has sexual themes to be sure, but no naked flesh is involved. The movie teases and almost shows us some skin, but no such luck. In terms of blood, a little violence unfolds on screen, though never in graphic fashion. The most memorable scene is a shower abortion, which sounds brutal, but is executed in cheap fashion and nothing is shown. Just some blood that trickles down the drain, but the scene is non graphic and there’s no gore. This carries through most of the movie’s violence, either off screen or not shown in even minor detail. The dialogue is basic and forgettable, overly serious but with no gravity or depth whatsoever. As for the overall craziness, this one takes no risks and makes no effort to push boundaries, so no wackiness or creative wildness, just a bland experience.
Overall Insanity: 0/10