Abagail Breslin has been a decent little actress since she was a kid. She was adorable in Signs and Little Miss Sunshine and returned as a teenager in Zombieland. I expected that her career would take off like Chloe Grace Moretz’s did but it hasn’t happened that way thus far.
When I heard about Haunter, the premise seemed pretty original and the addition of Breslin’s name didn’t hurt. Throw on top that the film is directed by Vincenzo Natali, who directed Cube, one of the craziest movies I saw as a teenager.
Its 1985, on the day before Lisa (Abigail Breslin) turns 16. She notices that things are strange, like how they eat the same thing every day, go to bed at the same time, never can fix the car and watch the same show on television. Her birthday never comes. Her father never goes to work and she never goes to school. Lisa’s family doesn’t notice that they repeat the same day over and over for almost 30 years, which leads Lisa to believe that they are all dead and are cycling as ghosts.
Suddenly, after Lisa attempts to contact the people living in the house, the family’s routine changes. Lisa’s dad starts smoking and her mother starts reading instead of the TV show they normally watch. Even the message she normally hears on the walkie-talkie every morning is different.
Then the doorbell rings. A man claiming to be the telephone repair man (Stephen McHattie) enters the house and confirms Lisa’s nightmares. They are, in fact, dead and she is not allowed to contact the living or her family will suffer. Then the routine just goes back to normal.
Naturally, Lisa reaches out to Olivia (Eleanor Zichy), the girl living in the house present day. Olivia helps Lisa learn how she died and, in return, Lisa helps Olivia escape the fate she and her family succumbed to.
Haunter is a cool movie because it shows us life on the other side. Normally we would see a haunted house from the perspective of the living but now we are seeing how frightening it is for ghosts to be dead.
Now, I know you’re thinking we have seen this before with The Others and we sort of have. The difference here is that Lisa knows she is dead to begin with and her undead life is under the thumb of the man who murdered her.
Stephen McHattie is incredibly creepy as the serial killer that controls everyone and everything in the house. In fact, everyone was pretty excellent in the film. I particularly enjoyed the ending. It didn’t feel rushed and really left the film feeling complete.
All in all, Haunter is a great and original film. It is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and for instant streaming on Netflix. Don’t add it to your queue, watch it now!