How I managed to stay perched on my sofa throughout this cavalcade of pure TERROR I will never know. Shock after shock after pant-wetting shock streamed across the cathode ray as me and the missus clawed at cushions, barely hanging on to our sanity as the next world revealed to us the unrelenting horror of the spirit domain.
Not really, gang. It was utter shit.
Mia Dolan is apaprently the bestselling author of a book called ‘The Gift’. Whether that’s related to the overrated film ‘The Gift’, I’m not sure and can’t be halfway-arsed to research, but let’s assume she’s not. She is also the frontwoman for ITV2’s Haunted Homes. This is another of those shows ITV2, LivingTV and all those other nothing-television channels knock out from their no-budget production orifice when desperate to fill their schedules with something other than static, despite the fact that static would actually be far more challenging television.
The formula for this one (and I should know, I’ve sat through the tedium of two of them for some reason) is as follows:
An ex childrens’ TV presenter who clearly didn’t make the grade walks around, shedding charisma as he goes, stating the bleeding obvious at the opening, ending and between scenes. He tells us nothing of worth and only serves to annoy every viewer with his attempt at gravitas and stupid leather jacket.
He links to Mia who is sitting in a council house with two members of the idiot public, in the dark, with one of those special cameras they used in the Blair Witch. They need one of those cameras because they are sitting in the dark. They are waiting for a ghost, in the dark. Grown adults, sitting in the dark. Waiting for a ghost. And me, sitting at home, watching some grown adults, sitting in the dark, waiting for a ghost. This is a stupid, vacuous world we live in.
The night vision, I think, is meant to have the effect of making everything eery. It actually just makes Mia look even weirder, if that’s at all possible, like some mutant car crash in which Gillian Taylforth and Vanessa Feltz have merged with Pat Butcher’s arse. It also serves to make Joe Public (who generally sits there either crying or giggling) look uglier than they were in the light.
Ineveitably a member of the crew will knock over a baking tray down in the kitchen or drop a Dime bar in the bog and everyone will freak out.
‘What the [beep] was that?’ the ‘contestant’ will scream.
‘It’s just the spirit world communicating with me’ Mia will sagely inform them, nodding certainly.
You just feel like barging in there, turning the fucking lights on and kicking the shit out of everyone present.
After the event, Mia sits around with her terrified prey in a winnebago. They constantly refer to this ‘winnebago’ as a safe house. ‘We’ll talk through what we saw in the Winnebago’ Mia says. ‘Let’s go over now to the Winnebago’ to study the findings’ says the kids’ TV presenter. IT’S A CARAVAN.
After this it’s downhill all the way (if that’s possible). A molish sceptic wanders in there, also in the dark, and tells them they’re imagining it (unbelievably, he’s getting paid for that) and then Mia goes in to the property with some candles and starts an ‘ancient incantation’ to exorcise the spirit. At least, that’s what she claims. What she actually does is blather on in her husky Jackiey Goodie tones in what is meant to be Latin. I studied Latin, and she is speaking the language, but she appears to just be repeating the word ‘Omnibum’ over and overagain, which wouldn’t get you very far in the forum. I’m not sure if it’d uproot a malevolent spirit or not, but it certainly made me shift over to the other side.