[Movie Review] The Selling (2011) ★★★☆☆

The Selling is a quirky little spooky film with a big heart.

The Selling is a paranormal comedy film that works most of the time very well. Especially due to the big heartwarming characters and the spooky fun inside the house with its many references to other horror films. Although more a comedy than an actual scary horror, this film certainly has its heart in the right place. 

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Richard Scarry is a realtor who is too nice and honest for his own good. His business partner Dave buys a house from colleague Mary Best to fix it up and flip it with Richard. Richard really needs the money to pay for his mother’s medical bills, but as soon as they enter the house, it seems to be haunted. And a serial killer named the Sleep Stalker who allegedly killed a lot of people in his sleep used to live there. When they try to fix up the house, the ghosts don’t make it any easier and when they have open house a woman called Ginger even exposes it as haunted. Will Richard be able to sell the house to help his mother?

Why you should watch it

The Selling works best as a quirky comedy with supernatural spooky elements. The best selling point of the movie are the likable characters. Especially Richard and his mother are endearing and heartwarming to watch. Their characters are the most fleshed out and especially when she tells him what kind of adventures she has had that day with tv. While Dave as the rough but not so tough guy acts as a more supporting character and Mary as the mean realtor does an excellent job. Ginger is annoying at first but soon becomes a fresh member of the scooby gang. 

It’s the interaction between the characters and between Richard and the ghosts that make this little film very well worth a watch. While it’s not scary, it knows how to make fun nods to other well-known horrors but that’s just half the fun. Richard steals the show, trying to communicate with the ghosts, or to exorcize the house with the help of his former teacher father Jimmy who puts up a great over the top exorcism act. When however Richard gets possessed, we miss out on his wonderful character and that’s where the film falters a bit. Sure it’s fun that he tries to drug Mary at the office to use her as a sacrifice but the whole idea behind it gets a bit lost and the part is too long. 

The first part when Richard is battling the ghosts in the house, is the funniest part, as is his trying to reasoning with them. While Dave is the comical note. The addition of his mothers’ illness isn’t sentimental but creates a warm feeling and emphasizes Richard’s wonderful character and shows whom he got it from. That is also shown again at the very end. It’s a background story that gives the whole film and Richard’s motivation more body while it also gives the film a big heart. 

The ending is even more endearing and if you want to see a feel-good movie with some spooky elements that will certainly make you smile, then this is the right choice. Also wait for the end credits, with a post ending, a post-post ending and finally a post-post-post ending. It’s worth to watch the credit roll right up to the end. I promise.

My favorite part

I can’t help it, but I love men screaming like a little girl when they are afraid and Richard masters it perfectly. His first encounters with the ghost and the vortex are brilliant and really funny. When they fix up the house and are haunted by the ghosts they try to stay as long as they can, until they cannot take it any longer and flee, even forgetting the car keys. It’s a great start for this spooky comedy that doesn’t make your spine chill, but gives you a warm fuzzy feeling instea. 


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Fun factor: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★☆☆☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆

Cast and crew

The Selling is directed by Emily Lou Wilbur and written by Gabriel Diani. It stars Gabriel Diani (Richard Scarry), Janet Varney (Mary Best), Jonathan Klein (Dave Ross), Etta Devine (Ginger Sparks), Nancy Lenehan (Mom) and Barry Bostwick (Father Jimmy).

Duration: 92 minutes. Music: Geoff Mann. Cinematography: Matthias Schubert. Edited by: James Coblentz, Chad Meserve. Produced by: Gabriel Diani. Production companies: RedWood Pictures, Diani & Devine Productions. Distributed by: GoDigital.

Check the trailer below

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