In “A Savannah Haunting,” writer-director William Mark McCullough tried to turn his real-life experiences into a horror thriller. The film starts with a question-and-answer round in which the producer and the sister of the director talk about what it was like to stay in the house where the movie was made. When the director and his siblings were kids, they used to live in the same house. According to them, they had seen ghosts in the house. Well, it sounds scary, but as the story goes on, it becomes more like a typical horror thriller with jump scares.
What Happens In The Film ‘A Savannah Haunting’?
Eric (Dean J. West) and Rachel (Gena Shaw) Rancourt were moving with their family to a house situated in a deep forest region. Eric had managed to get a good price on this house which was huge in size. However, their daughter, April (Anna Harriette Pittman), did not have a good feeling about this new move. But Andrew (Nico Tirozzi), their son, was quite fascinated to see the new house. Eric worked in the construction business, where he met with a local guy named James (Moses Jones). Eric invited James over to his house for dinner. On the other hand, other members were facing different challenging situations to cope with in the new house. Rachel was still figuring out how to decorate the house. April was avoiding talks with Rachel since she was not happy with the move at all. Andrew was playing with an old doll again and again, even after Rachel had dumped it so many times. In between this mess, James and his wife Vanessa (Brittney Level) came over for dinner. Vanessa talked about some voodoo and spiritual stuff, which only Rachel could understand. Vanessa said that her grandmother was more into these things. Soon it was found that Andrew was bleeding from his nose. When James and Vanessa left, Vanessa told James that she did not feel good staying in the house and did not want to come back. She felt the presence of some negative energy.
Soon, Rachel started seeing things and hearing noises around the house. One day she angrily burned the old doll, which Andrew was picking up again and again from the dump. Andrew suddenly told her that Rachel had made someone very angry. After a series of events, we find out that Rachel has completely lost her senses. She even went to visit a psychiatrist named Dr. Livingston (Bill Winkler). There, she told him about losing her daughter Alice. Livingston suggested to her that the visions she was seeing might be the outcome of suppressing her grief over Alice’s death. He even suggested keeping Alice’s things in one place and reminiscing her memories whenever possible. Rachel took the advice to an extreme. She made a room look like that of Alice’s, and there she put the burnt doll on her lap and sang songs to her. She kept imagining the burned doll as Alice. In between these incidents, Eric and April were confronted by a teenage girl named Lilath (Tommi Rose). She seduced both of them at times. However, despite the success she had with April, she could not advance her plans with Eric. Later, Eric went to see Dr. Livingston to discuss Rachel’s condition. From him, he heard about Alice, and Eric was completely in shock. Since they never had a daughter named Alice, it made Eric think about Vanessa and her warnings. Vanessa had already told Eric a couple of times to leave the house. But Eric did not pay heed to her warnings. Anyway, later Eric called Vanessa and learned that the previous owners of the house had lost their daughter, who had drowned in the pool.
Eric came home running and found Rachel singing a lullaby to the burned doll. He then started looking for April and Andrew. Through Andrew’s closet, he found a way to the basement. When he reached there, he was unable to find any trace of his children. Instead, he had opened a doorway from which we see Lilath come out filled with blood. Eric opened a box, thinking that Andrew might be there, but he could only find Alice in the box. Not knowing what to do, Eric ran, but Lilath’s father, William, put a rope around his neck. We saw William a couple of times before when he helped Rachel with a car engine problem and some other household stuff. Anyway, William and Lilath had a history involving the house. We will talk about that later. William took Eric into the basement again, and then there was a jump of one year. Rachel was kept in a psychiatric ward where Dr. Livingston asked her where she had kept the bodies of her family members. Rachel only smiled and gave no answer to the question.
‘A Savannah Haunting’ Ending Explained: Why Did William Kill Eric? What Happened To April And Andrew?
William was the first person to own the land on which the house stood. When William was alive, people were allowed to hold other people as slaves for their own benefit. Josephine (Simbi Kali), Vanessa’s grandmother, said that William and his family would often hurt people of color. Josephine said that there are portals in hell that demons can use to get to the real world. William’s house had a basement, where he kept one of these breaches. The demonic being changed the minds of both William and Lilath. They thought that if they tortured and killed the prisoners, the demonic thing from hell would be happy. But that wasn’t enough, and soon after, other people burned down William and Lilath’s house. A new house was built in its place, and another family moved in before the Rancourt’s. They lost their daughter, so they left the house before the evil spirit could do more damage. But Rachel and Eric stayed too long such that the demon came to live with them. Eric decided to stay even after Vanessa and her grandmother warned him not to. It had a huge effect on Rachel because the demon, which Josephine called “the fallen ones,” had completely messed up her mind. Also, William and Lilath’s ghosts had shown up. William didn’t like Eric because he was friends with a black man. William hated the fact that Eric had let James and Vanessa stay at his house and fed them dinner. The main reason why William killed Eric was because of this. Still, Lilath’s actions demand a better explanation. Even why Lilath took April to the cemetery once remains unclear. She might have liked April and wanted to show where she and Williams were buried. No matter what it was, it seemed to have nothing to do with the story.
April was last seen while she was waiting for Lilath in the cemetery. Two things were going on in the house. The demon or fallen one was corrupting Rachel’s mind, and the ghosts of William, Lilath, and Alice were together trying to destroy the family completely. The ghosts wanted to kill everyone in the family. Well, it’s clear that they were able to do that with Eric. But since Dr. Livingston asked Rachel where she hid April and Andrew’s bodies at the end of the movie, we can assume that Rachel had something to do with them going missing. We can see how close Rachel, to Alice’s influence, came to killing Andrew with a knife in at least one scene. Eric stepped in and stopped her from hurting Andrew. So, we can say that the demon or “fallen one” was in charge of the three ghosts and made Rachel kill Eric, April, and Andrew. Maybe April and Andrew were thrown into the pit from which Lilath had come up. Eric might have also ended up in the pit. No matter where the bodies of Eric, Andrew and April were, the authority could find all the answers in the basement, where William and Lilath used to torture prisoners to make the demon or the fallen one happy.
“A Savannah Haunting” is a 2022 horror thriller film directed by William Mark McCullough.