Located within Southern California is the small city of Redlands, which has all the charm of those picture-perfect movies you see on the Hallmark channel. As a matter of fact? Redlands has been used in many movies because of the unique backdrop it can lend to a film - but the city's IMDb credits are not the backdrop of this documentary. Instead, this is a film about the supernatural - hauntings in particular, and Redlands boasts more than a couple of supernatural destinations.
Seven. That's the magic number of haunted places in this small town. I'm sure there are probably a few "less" public locations, but "A City Haunted" focuses on the seven main ones. From houses to schools and cemeteries, Andrew Castruita guides viewers through the town location by location as his guest speakers tell the stories of this unusual town - and give opinions on the happenings within the borders of Redlands. If you're one of the folks who love a good supernatural exploration, this film is definitely up your alley. But make no mistake, reader, this flick is geared towards the more hardcore explorers. I'm not saying you need to be a true believer to enjoy this movie, but it sets out to tell its story with no bells or whistles - no-frills for anyone who tends to need a more action-y presentation. I'll get into that below, but the short and sweet of this review? "A City Haunted" will not be for everyone - but for those it sets out to entertain? A job well done. One hundred percent.
Andrew Castruita's film is a showcase of interviews, location photos, and stock footage used to break up the interview segments. The film is very to the point and very matter of fact. Those who really enjoy paranormal investigation shows and movies will instantly feel at home, and the information is easy to understand and follow along with. What "A City Haunted" is missing is perhaps a little more showmanship. This seventy-minute documentary features no backing score or sounds and, generally speaking, is simply on point with no genuine charisma. Even the stock footage used appears unaltered, with no focus on transitions or anything to level up this informative film. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily as the people, this film is geared for ultimately care about the interviews and hauntings themselves. Hell, there's even some content for the UFO lover in all of us! But for anyone wanting to be entertained on a more casual level, this film "may" feel a little dense.
So, there you have it. "A City Haunted" doesn't shy away from its content and offers up a no bells and whistles approach as it explores seven haunted locations within Redlands. The talking heads seem credible, and the stories themselves are fascinating. If you're more into the stories and information, you may personally add a little to my posted star rating - but let's be honest, shall we? Three and a half stars are nothing to smirk at, and if I found this film entertaining - a skeptic more or less, I have no doubt "A City Haunted" will find its audience.