Cinemark Theaters and The Asylum have joined forces to present THURSDAY NIGHTS AT THE ASYLUM in theaters across the country, bringing underground and indie horror, thriller, sci-fi, and cult cinema to the masses. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t know this was happening. But that’s why we’re here; to spread the gospel. Due to technical difficulties, we dodged a bullet and missed last week’s showing of Zoombies (which, according to Brooke, “has literally no redeeming factors at all.”). But this week we’re back, ready and raring to go for a haunted house story from The Asylum that actually isn’t that bad at all. I’m talking about A Haunting in Salem (which for some reason doesn’t seem to show up on a lot of lists of The Asylum films – go figure). Directed by Shane Van Dyke and written by H. Perry Horton, A Haunting in Salem tells the tragic tale of the cursed sheriffs of Salem, Massachusetts (and yes, spellcheck helped me spell Massachusetts) and the 19 witches hung back in the bad old days of 1692. Our story focuses on the latest poor doomed sap to fill the position, Wayne Downs (Bill Oberst Jr.) and his doomed wife, Carrie (Courtney Abbiati), and his doomed kids, Alli (Jenna Stone), and Kyle (Nicholas Harsin). And when I say doomed, I mean doomed. I don’t know what you think of when you see the name The Asylum pop up on your screen, but for me, it generally doesn’t mean bleak-as-fuck ghost stories with PTSD-suffering protagonists and wall-to-wall creeping dread. Van Dyke got his start writing for The Asylum and A Haunting in Salem was his fourth stint directing for them (he has since still been writing screenplays for The Asylum but has branched out to other studios, as well). It’s a good-looking film, shot in 2011 in Native 3D over a 12-day shoot, but neither the speed of filming nor the 3D ever overwhelms the production. This is mainly thanks to the reliance on practical effects and a beautiful 200-year-old mansion that serves as the main setting. The script by Horton (his first before moving on to other Asylum classics like 2-Headed Shark Attack, Shark Week, 40 Days and Nights, 100 Degrees Below Zero, and Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark) is solid enough, although it leans into foreshadowing a bit too heavily at times and the Sheriff’s wife and son don’t have a lot to do along the way. But that’s not really a problem as the film moves along quickly, ratcheting up the tension and providing a practical explanation for the biggest question I had after the prologue, where we see the previous sheriff coming to a nasty end. Most of the performances aren’t much to write home about, but again, isn’t really a problem for me thanks to a polished performance by Bill Oberst Jr. as Wayne, anchoring the entire film. Oberst’s IMDB page is amazing. He’s been in more movies than I can count and has about a million more on the way. I don’t know where he finds time to sleep. All in all, A Haunting in Salem is a well put-together little ghost film and nothing like the schlocky, goofball experience I was expecting. It was like watching a real movie! A Haunting in Salem is playing exclusively tonight, October 26 for one night only at the following Cinemark Theaters: Movies 16 + XD (Lubbock, TX) Hollywood 17 (Mcallen, TX) College Station + XD (College Station, TX) Tinseltown 17 (Erie, PA) Cinemark Movies 16 + XD (Somerdale, NJ) Movies 14 (Mishawaka, IN) Cinemark Tinseltown 17 + XD (Grapevine, TX) Tinseltown 20 + XD (El Paso, TX) Tinseltown 20 + XD (Pflugerville, TX) Cinemark Tinseltown + XD (Louisville, KY) Tinseltown 14 (Oak Ridge, TN) Tinseltown 14 (Pueblo, CO) Legacy 24 + XD (Plano, TX) Cinemark Tinseltown 20 + XD (Oklahoma City, OK) Cinemark Tinseltown 20 + XD (Merriam, KS) Tinseltown 20 + XD (Jacksonville, FL) Tinseltown 17 (Fayetteville, GA) Cinemark 17 + IMAX (Tulsa, OK) Cinemark 19 + XD (Katy, TX) Tinseltown 14 (Bristol, VA) Moosic 20 + XD (Moosic, PA) Valley View 24 + XD (Valley View, OH) Cinemark Orlando + XD (Orlando, FL) Cinemark 24 + XD (West Jordan, UT) Cinemark 18 + XD (Webster, TX) Carefree Circle 16 + IMAX (Colorado Springs, CO) Cinemark 16 (Fort Collins, CO) Cinemark 15 + XD (Hadley, MA) Cinemark 14 @ The Pike + XD (Long Beach, CA) Cinemark 14 + XD (Lake Charles, LA) Pittsburgh Mills Mall 18 + IMAX (Tarentum, PA) Cinemark 16 (Mesa, AZ) Cinemark Perkins Rowe + XD (Baton Rouge, LA) Cinemark Fayette Mall 16 + XD (Lexington, KY) Mountain View Cinema 16 (Mountain View, CA) Albuquerque Rio 24 + XD (Albuquerque, NM) Orange Stadium Promenade 25 + XD (Orange, CA) Century Parklane (Reno, NV) Portland Eastport Plaza (Portland, OR) Anchorage 16 + XD (Anchorage, AK) Century El Con + XD (Tucson, AZ) Evanston 18 + XD (Evanston, IL) Las Vegas Samstown 18 (Las Vegas, NV) Century Walnut Creek 14 + XD (Walnut Creek, CA) Sacramento Greenback 16 + XD (Sacramento, CA) San Jose Oakridge 20 + XD (San Jose, CA) Century 16 Bel Mar + XD (Lakewood, CO) Des Moines Jordan Creek + XD (West Des Moines, IA) Huntington Beach Bella Terra 20 + XD (Huntington Beach, CA) Las Vegas Santa Fe Station 16 + XD (Las Vegas, NV) Sandy Union Heights 16 (Sandy, UT) Century 16 (Boulder, CO) Century Federal Way + XD (Federal Way, WA) Century River Park 16 + XD (10/26) (Oxnard, CA) Cinemark Robinson Township + XD (Robinson Township, PA) Cinemark 14 (5/8) (Joliet, IL) Cinemark 12 (6/24) (Barboursville, WV) Paradise 24 + XD (Davie, FL) Egyptian 24 + XD (Hanover, MD) Cinemark Farmington + XD (Farmington, UT) Christiana + XD (Newark, DE) Cinemark Oakley Station + XD (Cincinnati, OH) Cinemark North Hills + XD (Pittsburgh, PA) Colonel Glenn 18 + XD (Little Rock, AR) Cinemark 18 and XD (Los Angeles, CA) Buckland Hills 18 IMAX (Manchester, CT) Preston Crossings 16 (Louisville, KY) Flint West 14 (Flint, MI) Ann Arbor 20 IMAX (Ypsilanti, MI) Hazlet 12 (Hazlet, NJ) Dayton South 16 + XD (West Carrollton, OH) Milford 16 (Milford, OH) Fallen Timbers 14 + XD (Maumee, OH) Franklin Park 16 + XD (Toledo, OH) Northeast Mall 18 + XD (Hurst, TX) Cuyahoga Falls + XD (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) See larger image A Haunting in Salem When the new sheriff of Salem, Massachusetts discovers that he is the victim of a centuries-old curse, he must protect his family from the vengeful ghosts that torment his home. 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