‘Haunted:’ weak for ghost shows and for Netflix

“Haunted” is the second Netflix original with producer Howard Owens attached to it. (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Owen Johnson
Connector Editor

Netflix has been sinking its teeth into every genre out there to create their own original content. With “The Haunted,” the streaming service has now reached the true-story paranormal documentary series genre, and it is obvious Netflix could not care less about it.

Like most paranormal shows, “The Haunted” brings on a new person every episode to detail their experience with a supernatural event. Alongside this victim of paranormal activity reciting the haunted events that happened to them, a recreation of said events takes place for the audience to view.

The one thing that “The Haunted” does which is a little interesting is that they bring on the person’s friends and family to listen as the person tells their story. They then either corroborate the claims, ask clarifying questions or act as emotional support for the person. It is a good touch compared to other shows that just have the singular person and a visual recreation for the audience to view, but not enough is done with it. Most of the time, the people who are brought on just stare at the person and occasionally nod along and do not contribute anything extra, except for the ex-husband in the sixth episode.

The show has an assortment of topics that are discussed on the show. Alongside paranormal stories about ghosts and demons, the second episode deals with two sisters’ father’s egregious and horrific actions and the fifth episode deals with an alien abduction. By doing this, the show is trying to have more variety to it, but it does not work. These two episodes are the least interesting ones of the six, and they feel like they are double their run time.

It is apparent from the quality of the show that Netflix probably does not have much hope for it, either. Based on the quality of the sound, lighting and sets, it looks like barely any money was put into the show. All these aforementioned aspects are just generically atrocious.

The sound design is low quality, with the show utilizing stock sounds that range from cliché to comically awful. In terms of cliché sound effects, the most generic and overused noises are used when the ghosts and demons are around. If one has seen any horror film from the past ten years, they have definitely heard these noises somewhere before. An example of the comically awful sound effects that the show uses comes about in the sixth episode, where a character is searching their house with a gun, and it sounds like a toy gun when the person cocks it.

The show’s lighting when it does the recreational segments is ugly and look like no effort was put into it. When any attempt at anything interesting is done with the lighting, it all looks like it was done by an editing software that a teenager who was just getting into filmmaking would be given. This is a show from a major streaming service that has produced countless high-quality programs, so this says a lot about how Netflix views this program.

The sets during the recreations of the hauntings and supernatural events all look like the minimal quality was put into them. The furnishing of the sets is bare minimum to establish what a room is supposed to be, and the sets are all underpopulated. For example, a bedroom set will have a bed and a nightstand and then nothing else more beyond that. There are no personal belongings or anything like that to help create the scene. In terms of under population of the scenes, the sixth episode is another good example of this. One scene takes place in a military barrack, yet the haunted individual is the only person in the room in the middle of the night.

Netflix’s “The Haunted” is a program that the streaming service seems to not care about, which is evident by the low quality and lack of money that was obviously given to it. So, if the streaming service is unwilling to put money or effort into it, why should anyone put their time into watching it?

Final Grade: C-

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