Haunter was a new twist on an old idea. A haunted house story…normal. A haunted house story from the ghost’s perspective…not so normal.
In Haunter, ghost teenager Lisa Johnson (Abigail Breslin) and her family died in 1986 under suspicious circumstances. Her family has been repeating the day that they died over and over again, without realizing it. However, when Lisa snaps out of the trance, she learns that a new family has moved into the house and she must find a way to help Olivia (Eleanor Zilchy) avoid the same fate as her and her family.
The movie has a great premise. It’s a new idea. It’s a nefarious version of ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’, with serial killer intrigue and plenty of room for a few great scares. However, despite the great premise, the creators failed to follow the one formula that is required in order to keep a scary movie scary. It’s a simple principle; the KISS principle.
Keep It Simple Stupid. [more…]
Unfortunately, this plot seemed to spiral out of control. The bad dude in the movie is ‘Haunter’ an evil serial killer ghost who likes to kidnap teenage girls and murder them. However, this doesn’t explain why he’s elected to murder whole families? The point is never explained…ever. This was a major plot hole in need of patching.
In addition, the beginning plays out like a really unfunny version of ‘Groundhog Day.’ She does the same thing every day and we are forced to watch it. This causes the movie to drag on way too long and when the scares do come, they lack impact as any enthusiasm has been lost.
The film also has its own aesthetic problems. It looks like the filmographer was trying to capture that creepy style low budget work done in ‘Sinister’. Instead, Jon Joffin delivers a musty looking, grey hued movie that will have most viewers reaching for their bifocals.
The only scares are jump-scares and really, no one is scared of jump-scares anymore. Most people who watch any level of horror movies have been jump scared so many times over the last 5 years that we are practically immune.
It’s a shame really, because the premise is fabulous. If this had been done correctly, or even with more of a comedic air, it could have been a movie along the plot line of ‘Cabin in the Woods.’ Instead, due to the lack of the ability to cover plot holes and flesh out a script, Haunter just wasn’t that haunting.
This is a less than average horror movie at best. This movie could have relied on frightening story telling for its scares. Instead, it focused on shoddy camera work, lazy jump-scares, and a convoluted plot. For horror audiences out there looking for a great Halloween movie, this one isn’t going to scare and it isn’t going to provide any kind of comedic relief. It doesn’t even have enough of a B-Budget feel to make it worth making fun of. When it comes to looking for a decent scare movie, viewers are best off avoiding Haunter.
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