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The Haunting Recap

On a beach in Hawaii at night, Champ Foster is burying Princess Jehan's body. He remembers strangling her on a merry-go-round at an amusement park, and keeps digging. Finally the hole is deep enough and Champ dumps the corpse into it and covers it over.

Several weeks later, Jim goes to now-abandoned amusement park and gets his briefing. He's informed that the park is the last place that Jehan was last seen, and she's from an oil-rich Emirate country. Jehan was in Hawaii as a university student, and violence is suspected but her body was never found. Her father bought the park and had it shut down, and then searched it for clues. He has become angered by the lack of justice and threatens to pull his country out of an oil alliance which could disrupt the economies of several Western countries. The police are sure that Champ is the killer, and believe that he is connected to a half-dozen murders around the world. He lives on the family estate outside of Honolulu with his domineering mother, Katherine. The team must find out what happened to Jehan and bring Champ to justice if he's responsible before the talks begin in three days.

Once the team has gathered, Nicholas tries on his disguise and Grant shows off a small glass pellet that can be triggered to break and lease a trace of perfume. Nicholas says that the perfume was "his" sister Jehan's favorite. Jim tells the others that they've rented the yacht club banquet in two nights. He warns that Champ has a brilliant mind and a long history of violence, starting with a schoolmate that he killed at the age of 16. His family covered up the crime with their money and influence. Champ spent two years in a psychiatric hospital, and he learned not to get caught. He and Jehan dated several times, and they have a photo of the two of them at the yacht club on the night Jehan disappeared. Jehan told a friend that she was going to meet Champ later, but Champ claimed that he was busy with paperwork at the club and never made it. Jim figures that they can get to Champ through Katherine, who is a spiritualist who has spent thousands trying to contact the other side through séances. The team will make sure that one of her attempts succeed. They'll also take advantage of Champ himself, playing on his bride. Max takes a burning coal out of the grill and casually holds it up, and says that they're going to introduce Champ to someone even more insane wackier than him.

Later at the docks, Max is showing a boy how to fly a kite when Champ arrives at the club. The hostess Rita warns Champ that the prince will be there in a few minutes, and reviews his schedule. Champ goes into his office and Max calls to ask how his "old buddy" is doing. He tells Champ that he's looking to meet a rich friend and tells Champ to look out the window to where Max is standing on Champ's boat. Max says that he knows what Champ has been doing to the woman, and Dr. Kruse sent him. Kruse was the head doctor at the institute Champ was at as a teenager. When Champ takes a call, Max hangs up and slips away.

Nicholas arrives posing as Jehan's brother, with Grant as his chauffeur. Champ arrives and tells Nicholas that Jehan was very special to them. They take Nicholas to see the banquet room for the party, and Grant quickly leaves. Nicholas says that he was in the hospital due to a racing accident, and is only alive because Jehan warned him. The agent takes out a gem and says that the room must be painted to match the gem's color, and it was Jehan's favorite and the party is for her birthday.

Grant breaks into Champ's office and plants a sphere beneath Champ' desk. He then accesses the yacht club computer and sends files to Jim and Casey. Casey is preparing to disguise herself as Jehan, and Jim has a cardboard standup of himself as psychic Zane Preston.

Nicholas inspects the party and says that he wants everything perfect for Jehan's return. He explains that in the last letter Jehan sent him, she said that something dark and terrible was going to happen to her. She would be away for three months but would return on her birthday. Champ asks about the letters, and Nicholas says that Jehan had the gift. Rita says that they have a dinner dance every Friday night, and Champ invites Nicholas to it and Katherine will be present.

An assistant knocks on Champ's door, and Grant closes the computer and hides outside on the balcony as the man comes in. Once the assistant leaves, Grant comes back in and finishes sending the files to the others. He then attaches another glass sphere and leaves.

As Nicholas and Grant leave, Rita asks Champ if he thinks Jehan will be alive. Champ goes to his office, and out in the car Grant remote-breaks the spheres. When he goes to his desk, Champ smells the perfume.

When the driver of the mariachi band entertaining at the dinner party stops to get a haircut, Max steals his truck. Meanwhile, Jim visits the talent booker for the club and asks if he has any jobs. The man receives a call that the mariachi band won't make it, and gives Jim the job.

Champ drives to the Foster estate and the servant Tu says that Katherine is in the study with a friend of Champ's, "Mr. Eisenhower." Katherine is telling Max about how she saw the spirit of her dead husband. Champ comes in and realizes that Max was the person who called him. He says that he and Max have a lot to discuss, and Katherine says that she invited Max to join them at the dinner that night

At the amusement park, Grant takes photos of Casey disguised as Jehan across the bark, spinning around.

Max lights a match and tells Champ that he can control pain, and snuffs the flame out with his fingers. When Champ jokes with him, Max snaps at him briefly and then explains that he's been scaring people all of his life. He figures that Champ is the same, and says that Cruz remembers Champ. Max was there when the cops came from places where Champ had killed women. He rants about faking insanity after he sliced up women, and says that the police asked Cruz if he thought Champ could be a serial killer. When Champ asks for details, Max says that's why they're going to become good friends... and Max is going to share his money with him.

That night, Nicholas arrives at the club. Max is dancing with Katherine, who continues talking about ghosts. Champ sees Nicholas and calls him over. Meanwhile, Grant and Casey break into Katherine's study via the patio window and Grant quickly shuts down the alarm by hacking the code.

Nicholas sits with Katherine, Max, and Champ. Katherine is fascinated with the letters Nicholas claims that Jehan wrote.

In the study, Grant sets up a sprayer in the wall that lets him lower the room temperature.

Rita introduces Jim and he talks about how he has helped the police arrest several killers.

Casey goes into Champ's closet and finds the jacket that he wore the night that Jehan died and then snips a button off of it with a golden crown engraved on it. Grant takes a photo of it and then sets up a hidden hologram projector to make it appear in thin air. Next they put metal magnetic plates underneath a rug and Grant demonstrates how he can make a coin shoot up into the air. Finally he attaches a mirror to a post.

Using the data that Grant sent earlier, Jim displays his "psychic ability". Nicholas asks him who he's having a party for, and gives Jim his sunglasses. Jim "reads" that Jehan is there and wants to talk to Nicholas about why she is dead, and the sunglasses shatter. He mutters a name and then collapses. Nicholas tells Champ and Katherine that the name was Jehan's pet name for him.

Jim, Nicholas, and Max return to the team's cabana and tell Casey that Katherine has invited them to the house the next night for a séance. Grant confirms that everything is set up at the Foster house, including a timed anesthetic set to go off at 1 am that will knock out everyone in the house.

Rita drops off the photos from the party at a booth. Grant drives up afterward, picks the lock on the drop-off box, finds the yacht club photos, and takes them.

Once the anesthetic gas triggers, Jim, Max, and Nicholas break in and take the drugged Champ out.

Back at the cabana, Grant puts the "ghostly" images of Casey-as-Jehan onto the negatives that Rita took.

The next morning, Champ wakes up at the amusement park. He hears "Jehan" calling to him, and sees her atop a nearby mock castle. Champ insists that she can't be there and runs over. By the time he gets to the castle roof, Casey has slipped away. Grant detonates another one of his glass spheres and Champ smells the perfume.

Champ returns to the Foster home and Tu tells him that Katherine fainted when Rita showed her some photos from the dance. When he finds his mother, Katherine says that it's been a wonderful morning. Rita brought the photographs and showed them to Katherine. Jehan is in them, and Katherine insists that the princess was there. Tu comes in and tells Champ that Max is calling and has to talk immediately. Champ takes the call and Max tells him that he caught one of the cops who talked to Kruse and killed him.

Max arranges a meeting with Champ at Max's apartment. Grant is on the floor, "dead", and Champ recognizes him as Nicholas' chauffeur. Max talks about how he tortured Grant for information and Grant said that the police are in Honolulu and going over the police's files on Jehan's disappearance.

That night, Jim arrives at the Foster home. Grant and Casey are parked nearby, and Jim goes inside. Nicholas and Max are with Champ and Katherine, and Champ says that they should call it off. His mother refuses and has everyone sit down. She wants to summon Jehan by reading her last letter to Nicholas. Jim asks for payment, and Nicholas agrees to cover it.

Nicholas reads the letter, and Grant lowers the temperature in the room. Katherine figures that Jehan is there, and asks Jehan to give them a sign. Grant levitates the table using the magnetic plates, and Nicholas reads the letter saying that someone will have to die before Jehan reveals herself. Max "panics" and runs, and Grant triggers more perfume. Nicholas continues reading, saying that a golden crown will reveal her killer. The hologram of Champ's button appears. Champ finds the jacket he wore and discovers that the button is gone. He figures that he left the button behind when he strangled Jehan.

Champ drives to the beach where he buried Jehan's body, and digs it up to find the button. The Honolulu police arrive and arrest him, and the team watch.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 12, 2017

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