TrustMovies has greatly enjoyed the half-dozen films by Vincenzo Natali that he's so far seen, so viewing HAUNTER, which received highly mixed notices from critics and audiences, was still a shoo-in. Sure enough, Natali and his writer Brian King take a bunch of much-used terror tropes and ghost goings-on but bounce them around creatively until they come out rather fresh. The movie will bring to mind The Others, Groundhog Day, the Amityvilles and another half-dozen well-trod tales but still manages to become its own special story as it moves interestingly along.
As its star, the filmmaker has chosen Abigail Breslin (below), a smart young actress who seems willing to try various genres and roles within them, usually to good effect. Here she brings that intelligence coupled with typical teen-age annoyance (at parents and younger sibling) to the table and plays it for both humor and, later, drama and scares.
Stephen McHattie (below, from the succulent Pontypool) is also a fine choice -- even scarier here than he usually is. The pair become a good example of well-matched antagonists of the horror genre.
IFC Midnight and running just a tad long at 97 minutes, streams now on Netflix, and also on Amazon Instant Video and elsewhere -- and can also be seen via DVD.