Thursday, 30 April 2015

Review - Haunting Australia - Woodford Academy

Whoosh, Splash, psssshhhhh. Yes, with this many sound effects, it's got to be a SYFY show!

I really wasn't going to to review this one, but as it's my home turf, I guess I should. Welcome to ghost hunting - OZ style...mate. Gah, couldn't help it.

Straight up we are introduced to Allen Tiller - an accomplished paranormal investigator (never heard of him,soz)and medium / Clairvoyant, Rayleen Kable (never heard of her , soz) and Robb Demarest (have heard of him) the beleaguered ghost hunters ex - I guess they had to get him out of the country to stop him appearing on radio and blurting inappropriate things out. 

New South Wales, the Blue Mountains
we arrive at the Woodford Academy for boys, purportedly 'teaming with activity'. being previously a pub, a gentleman's residence and a sanatorium, it has all the ingredients for a great location. We're told there's six good spirits and six bad spirits - nice of them to be so down the line. One was apparently a woman who hung herself - 'Mary Jane' - we hear from a couple of accounts that aren't too spectacular.

We see that CCTV is hooked up around the property and the team walks towards the building 'Armageddon' style as the incredibly cheesy voice over states 'let the ghostly games begin'. The format is almost identical to British TV show Most Haunted, which was notorious for faking or at least wildly exaggerating claims. Anyway, we're in with the first investigator or 'into the inky void' as the voice over claims in some harkening to Edgar Allen Poe - Medium Ian Lawman (don't know him either) has a camera strapped to him so we get a Blair Witch style POV. As an aside, we meet Ian properly who tells us he is a triple threat with clairvoyance, mediumship and psychic abilities. we get almost circus music behind this which feels like the programmers don't believe him either...

Rayleen joins us now in the attic where she says she feels sad and is accompanied by a little girl. Turns out a little girl was once locked up in there.

Back to Ian who is not happy in a bathroom. maybe he saw the amount of eyeliner he had on in the mirror. Someone's gonna have panda eyes in the morning!

Now we are joining Ray and Gorav? Who are these two? nope, no time to find out as they head out into the 'dark, chilly garden', not your ordinary garden then? The guys are trying some EVPs.
They use a full spectrum camera and claim they've caught a woman behind a tree. pats on the back all round.

Time to send in the big guns and Robb heads in. Straight away he's getting loud knocks and scraping, he's with Rayleen who tells him it's a little boy called Johnny.Johnny opens a door on command, good boy Johnny.
Straight after this a fire alarm goes off in the house - the fire service arrives and agrees that there was no fire, but that it happens pretty regularly. Faulty system anyone?

During the program, we are matching up hits with local tour guides who inform us of the history and legends. These stories must be told almost every day to groups visiting the location, so it brings down the viability of the mediums and clairvoyants 'picking up' on the resident ghosts.

Ian and Gorav are in a bedroom and we instantly hear footsteps and furniture dragging. Knocking occurs in response to their questions.
Meanwhile, Ray is walking around downstairs and is 'very scared'. Why is a professional ghost hunter 'very scared'? we don't find out. Probably all the sound effects and furniture moving and knocking and banging and doors opening...these ghosts must be exhausted.

let's finish up by sending Rayleen to sit in a chair - nope she's up and running away. She's scared too. Now there's tears.

Ooh, now we get to meet Gorav, so he is a healer which makes a perfect segway for him to cleanse Rayleen. Then he walks the building and spreads some of his special love around by smudging with sage and an 'ancient universal chant' which is just him going 'oooooooooooooohhh, move out, go to the beautiful world'. Oh, come on. I'm done, must I watch more?
Ok, for you guys I will.

AAAAAANNNNDD instantly I wish I didn't. now they are tooling around in a park on actual segways. WHY?! there's comical music playing in the background until...Gorav falls off and seriously hurts himself.
YAY! It WAS worth watching through!
So after this seriously awful goofing around scene, we review the material which is just not even worth mentioning as there was so much going on that there is no way I'm going to believe even a small bit of it.
A few words spring to mind after watching this show:

It's hard not to compare this show to the others out there already, and in comparison it just doesn't hit the mark at all. I'm not sure who their target audience is as anyone even remotely interested in this field would surely watch this show and discredit it in the first five minutes. is it a comedy? Is it a spoof? All I know is that I don't know and honestly I don't care as I'm closing the book on this and will try to forget that it exists and that it was made in my home country.
Going to hide in shame.

Haunting Australia - and now my nightmares


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