Wednesday, March 13, 2013

HAUNTER (2013) movie review

Haunter (2013) (1st viewing) d. Natali, Vincenzo (Canada)

When surly teen Abigail Breslin starts rebelling against her parents, it proves to be a literally timeless story as director Natali and screenwriter Brian King turn the ghost story on its head, showing us life on the other side of the spooking glass. Trapped in a same-day endless loop, this is the haunted house version of Source Code, with Breslin slowly discovering her lot in the afterlife and trying to “wake up” her other family members to the same.

But King goes one step further; not only are inhabitants of the corporeal world terrifying to the undead, there are sinister forces that can menace spirits even beyond the mortal coil...especially when said sinister force is played by Stephen McHattie. The creepy Canuck extraordinaire, whose presence no special effect could ever match, exudes a chilling aura with his every onscreen moment. Breslin does serviceable work, although she’s a little shakier when it comes to the emotional scenes (the same could be said of most of her fellow ensemble members – high drama is not these kids’ forte).

In the final equation, there are fewer frights than one might prefer and the climax resolves itself with a pronounced convenience. (My friend and I turned to each other and said, “That was all it took?”) Just the same, there are enough novel notions and freaky reveals to satisfy most viewers’ phantasmagorical jones.


  1. Replies
    1. I have no idea, tlhamp0. SXSW marked its world premiere, and at that point they did not have distribution. Keep watching the skies!