Happy day 23 of ol’ Barley’s #31DaysOfHorror. This time I went into the depths of Netflix… ok, so not the depths… but.. whatever! Play along with me on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror. Lets get to it!
Alright, so this one from Netflix, was one that kept being recommended and I kept on… not watching. We have the 2013 flick “Haunter” which as IMDB puts it is about :
A teenager is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth but her actions have consequences for herself and others.
So, this one actually did peak my curiosity because of director Vincenzo Natali, who previously brought us Cube and Splice. I really enjoyed both of those movies, and was pretty curious to see what came next from this director. Plus, we had Abigail Breslin and Stephen McHattie (Pontypool) so it seemed like the stars were all aligned for this one, and it was VERY CLOSE to being a pretty good little movie.
Abigail Breslin does a really solid job in this movie, and really does prove she’s got plenty of talent even as she grows out of her child-star status. The other performers are pretty good too, and Stephen McHattie is wonderfully creepy. He’s just got one of those faces that you know is up to something horribly sinister, I actually had the thought that he’d be kind of an excellent Joker… albeit and aged Joker. There aren’t really any hugely negative performances from anyone, so there’s really not a ton to talk about on that front.
The story is pretty interesting and takes a new perspective. A haunting from the perspective of the haunter (GET IT?! GET IT!?), I know what you’re thinking “wasn’t that like The Others?” … well, kind of. Anyways, this one is pretty unique and interesting, and honestly I was pretty interested in the places it might go. It does take sort of a long time getting started, and has a few draggy points that really didn’t need to be. It has a pretty eerie atmosphere and a few pretty frightening moments, if I’m being honest. It really didn’t live up to the director’s last to films though, and I do have one pretty serious gripe with the movie.
The ending was such a disappointment! At first it was starting to look like the ending might be a little bit of a bleak one, but for some reason it takes a further turn and forces a bright and cheery ending. I don’t know what the resistance to ending on a down note is with so many horror movies. While occasionally a happy ending really works, after watching the character struggle and really earn the escape or turn in their favour, but in this case and in the case of SO many horror movies it feels so … forced and shoveled on. Sometimes it’s really ok to leave things as a downer, it can make the movie a stronger experience over all. This is where this particular movie really fell short, which really was unfortunate.
It’s by no means a BAD movie, and it’s worth checking out if you’ve seen the other two films by the director. However, it’s ending and a few minor weak story points do keep it from being as good as it really could be. So, if you’ve got nothing else to check out then you might as well give this one a watch.
FINAL GRADE : C+