After doing a ten year stretch for murder gangster Harry Payne (Tony Scannell) is released and plans to turn his back on his criminal past and retire to Norfolk to run a pub and look after his estranged and fragile wife who is in a nearby home for the insane. But unfortunately no soon as Harry arrives in his new home that the village is plagued by a series of brutal murders which the locals suspect to be down to the ghostly "White Lady of Rayleton" whilst the cops lead by Detective Inspector Bracken (Graham Cole) and his young assistant, DS Churchill (Fliss Walton) suspect Harry of his old ways. But Harry has a secret as he has a paranormal ability which he has tried to control with drink but now could be the key to proving his innocence.
I am trying to decide how I feel about "The Haunting of Harry Payne" which is also known as "Evil Never Dies" as I am not entirely sure and think it may be a case that I want to like this movie more than I really do. That comes from it being a British movie with actors which many will recognize from various TV shows such as The Bill and Doctor Who plus it has this peculiar premise which is a crime story combined with the supernatural which gives us a horror aspect.
I think the trouble is that at times "The Haunting of Harry Payne" is reminiscent of "Hot Fuzz" with this village setting, quirky characters, sarcastic cops, people who suddenly appear behind others yet it doesn't have the laughs. Maybe if it wasn't so similar in style with this mixed bag of characters and sarcastic humour it would be more entertaining but something about it just doesn't work.
Having said that trust me when you start watching "The Haunting of Harry Payne" you won't stop and whilst you will be left with a sense that it could have done better you will still have enjoyed yourself. Much of that is down to the actors rather than the story which takes us of on a peculiar journey in to the super natural. Tony Scannell is solid as Harry, a man who is typically haunted by his past but also by the supernatural but Graham Cole is a lot of fun as Bracken and he works well with Fliss Walton to give us that sarcastic pairing of a veteran detective and his enthusiastic assistant.
What this all boils down to is that "The Haunting of Harry Payne" ends up a movie which you finish and you will have enjoyed; thanks to the styling and the acting. But you will also feel that maybe it could have been a lot better with a storyline which doesn't quite work well enough despite its often dark humorous tone.