Monday, March 3, 2014
HAUNT, directed by Mac Carter from a screenplay by Andrew Barrer, audiences may be forgiven for immediately mixing things up a bit, beginning with that rather derivative title, which brings to mind a bunch of other movies: Haunts, Haunter, Haunters, Haunted, The Haunting, and so on, into oblivion. Not to mention the fact that the somewhat over-used subject matter should call to memory another ten dozen films -- from the old Amityville Horror and its remake to the more recent Insidious and that hugely over-rated piece of bump-in-the-night badness, The Conjuring.
Jacki Weaver (above), Ione Skye and relative newcomer Liana Liberato evidently signed on to this one, and all do their best with pretty woeful material. The exposition plods, we get the usual scary faces out of nowhere (below), jolting sound effects deafen us, and a naughty wooden box appears that may bring to mind a low-end Hellraiser.
Harrison Gilbertson, below) makes all the wrong decisions (another genre "must," it seems) as he leads the way into bad, worse and worst. Yes, the film is atmospheric, but filmmakers, please: It takes more than atmosphere & a few overused scares to makes a good horror film.
Vincenzo Natali's Haunter, however, as that director (Cube, Cypher, Splice) usually does not disappoint. Meanwhile, this film -- from IFC Films and running too long, even at only 86 minutes -- opens this Friday, March 7, in New York and maybe elsewhere, after a run on VOD for the past month that will probably continue for awhile longer.