The Haunting of Mia Moss Review

By Dark Starr

A recent DVD, "The Haunting of Mia Moss" features a movie from 2018 that has some spooky moments, but overall falls very short for a number of reasons. I wouldn't say that I can give this film a positive review, but I did like some things about it.

The film starts with a scene in the past before it shifts to present day. In the current part of the movie, the lady whose name is in the title has come back to her home town to get herself together, staying alone in the old family home.

As you might imagine from the title, haunting type happenings begin to occur, and they ultimately tie to a family history that she has not been told about. I wouldn't consider any of the scenes in the movie to be really scary, but there are some genuinely spooky moments. In fact, there are enough of those that I think rather than trying to create a feature-length film, had they opted for a short movie, maybe half-an-hour to 45 minutes, this would have worked much better.

The trouble is, there are these painfully long scenes that bring very little to the story. One of those is a scene in a bar when she and her friend go out for drinks. They use a weird filter effect on the camera. I think it's supposed to simulate the fact that the two ladies are drunk, and it's clever, but we get so much screen time like that, basically watching the bar-tender mix drinks, that I was sorely tempted to fast-forward through it.

An even bigger waste of time is all the focus on sage smudging. Our main character watches videos, explaining how to do it, and talking all about the benefits. That, in itself takes up a lot of time, but it's only one piece, and not the biggest one.

I mentioned the prequel scene at the start. In that part of the film Scream Queen Brinke Stevens (who is largely wasted in her role as Mia's mother) plays the central character. She spends the majority of that prequel part saging the house, and I mean the whole house, tediously slowly. We do get a tiny hint of horrors in that prequel, but not enough to make sitting through all that smudging worth it.

That would be bad enough, but later in the movie, Mia does the same thing, and we go through the whole house with her silently smudging every single room. It does turn creepy toward the end that time, but again, it's just not worth all the tedium you have to go through to get there.

If those were the only overly long and nearly pointless scenes in the movie, it would be bad enough, but there are others that aren't as bad, but still get tedious that I won't reference individually. Honestly, if the pace of the rest of the movie were better, those wouldn't be much an issue.

Other problems with the film come from the very indie-nature of it. A lot of the acting is flat. I expect that with indies, though, so it's not really a big deal. The sound mixing is very bad on the movie, and it's very hard to hear the character playing Mia Moss (Nicola Fiore) a lot of the time because of it. Beyond that, the story at times doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, and I have trouble understanding what happens at the end.

Overall, I'd say that this movie had some promise, and has a few moments that deliver. I think that's what makes it seem such a shame. I mean, if it were strictly a throw-away movie, with no redeeming qualities it would be easier to just ignore it. The good stuff is definitely not worth what you have to sit through to get to them, though. I think perhaps students of film-making might appreciate this more, though. It would certainly show them some things not to do in their craft.