Haunted By Her Past (1987)


Directed by: Michael Pressman

Written by: Barry Schneider & Norman Wright


.... Karen Beckett
.... Eric Beckett
.... Charles Kamen
.... Rita Kamen
.... Megan McGuire

.... Innkeeper MacVey

Release Date: Made-for-TV: October 5, 1987




A group of friends goes on a vacation but detours to a cottage where they decide to stay for a few days. However, one of them Karen Beckett (Susan Lucci) encounters a mirror that is haunted by one of her ancestors Megan McGuire (Finola Hughes) in which she tries to convince her to murder her husband Eric Beckett (John James) as well as telling her secrets that her parents kept from her in which she is tormneted in her nightmares as to how she came to be.


How the story started to open was a bit confusing as we see our lead character Karen Beckett being tormented in her nightmares on being hung as it didn't fully explain itself just yet.
After the opening credit however shows a peaceful day with her in the car driving with her husband and friends to their cottage as things seemed to look quite uplifing.

Then when everyone enters the cottage things start to become very mysterious when they meet Innkeeper MacVey as he seems to have a dark secret by how he behaves especially when Karen and Eric wants to stay in a room that has never been used in years as this leaves a creepy impression that something's not good about it all.
Then they go to an area to have fun and take pictures at a historical guillotine when Eric ask his friends to take a picture when he puts a rope around his neck as this was supposed to leave you cringing thinking that something is about to happen yet this moment fails and needed more inspiration. However nice creepy flashback segments when something does happen.
There's an attention grabber when Karen looks into the mirror and spots something ghostly upon her reflection which is a nice touch to the story.
The friends go out to do some shopping and sorts as Karen starts to act strange and is very outspoken towards her friend Rita which also grabbed my attention that this woman is starting to change from the hauntings that she experienced.
There's a scene when Eric goes searching for his wife in the woods as it's foggy looking but you could tell that it was used from a fog machine and not looking convincing but yet when he finds her she acts lustfully bringing on more mysterious moments.
During another dreams sequence into the story which was a memorable moment when she dreams of her Mom giving birth to her in a prison which looked genuinely twisted.
Later on Karen spots the other spirit on the other side of the mirror whom is of course Megan McGuire in which she tries to manipulate her to do some evil deeds. All of this looked truly haunting while watching all of this.
Someone enters the room and puts his hands on the mirror and something happens to him as this looked dynamically suspenseful and decent effects used for a TV movie. This for sure was a nice touch to a horror story.
The situations become strong when Eric is frusterated towards Karen as their discussions looked strong as well as her acting crazy and weird as this leaves an impression that she is possibly possessed.
Karen drives away in her car with her friends as things look very intimidating while she's diriving too fast as this left an impression that she will get into an accident by how this moment was rolling along.
The tension piles up when Karen goes to a tough bar and shoots pool with a bunch of rednecks and when Eric tries to take her away from there makes out she doesn't know him as the moments drew me in greatly that a riot is about to break out.
More good special effects with what the mirror does but the terror gets going when Megan tries to convince Karen to murder her husband with a dagger as this leaves a close attention wondering if she will do it or not.
Bottom line is that even if there was effective moments like I mentioned earlier this story is pretty bland as we've seen these situations before so it was kind of a waste of time making this film as it could've been a little more original. This film was retitled Secret Passions when released on DVD.

The acting is a bit dated I must admit but not terrible as (Karen Beckett) was at times stiff with her words but she seemed to make up for that later on when she becomes slowly possessed as she does well acting lustful or out of control. Seemed to try her best in her part of the story.
(Eric Beckett) knew his stuff by playing the sympathetic ideal husband in which he has the right guy next door looks and appeal to portray this role too. He seemed to do well acting fruterated when the suspense and strangeness towards him happen as he brought it to life. He was very energetic into all that he did here.
(Charles Kamen) seemed to have a good bubbly type of persoinality as a person who likes to have a good time and adds a nice with and charm into his role. He for sure showed a nice hyped but calm type of behavior and studied his role pretty well.
(Megan McGuire) was perfectly wicked as an evil spirit in the mirror as she was the best out of the cast showing a good presence as well as doing well with her smooth and icy speaking. She was a great character actress.
(Innkeeper MacVey) was another great role in which he delivers a good mysterious presence by how he behaves and drew in greatly by what he was talking about as he seemed somewhat disturbed in a mellow way by when he discusses a room that hasn't been used in a certain part of the story as he was a strong forc of nature. Had the perfect looks and appeal too with his British accent.

The music composed by Paul Chihara isn't too memorable but it's passable enough as we hear some deep trumpet playing here and there as well as some peaceful flute playing with the mellow situations. Plus there's the odd drum boomings too. Hpowever some interesting saxophone music for the near lustful moments which seemed to play off okay.