Everyone loves a good haunted house movie. Amityville is probably the best one out there but even films like Paranormal Activity hold entertainment value. Well, the first one does.
On the night of this review, I have popped in a new IFC film simply entitled Haunt for some good old fashioned ghostly fun.
The film starts out with a sobbing man communicating with his apparently deceased family through a pretty funky looking radio. The man is calling out for his children and the voices, in response, keep saying “He’s here!” Not that I ever want dead people to talk to me but, if they did, I’m pretty sure that is at the top of the list of things I wouldn’t want to hear.
Within minutes I have already blasphemed and potentially soiled myself. I will admit that I probably should have seen it coming but it certainly beats out the Darth Maul scene from Insidious that everyone claimed was terrifying.
Alright, you’re all aware of my hate for James Wan films, so let’s move on.
A new family moves into the house, including an older, and still hot, Ione Skye as the mother, with the knowledge that the family before them had died in the house. Well, you know the story, you have heard it before.
The son, Evan (Harrison Gilbertson) makes friends with the stereotypically hot neighbor girl Sam (Liana Liberto) who knows all about the family who lived there before. Naturally, she encourages him to investigate the ghosties that live in the house and to slut it up with her at night. Toss in the pot that they smoke and you have two big horror movie No Nos.
The only survivor of the original family is Dr. Morello (Jacki Weaver) who is terrifying in her own way. She small and scary looking and her little voice makes for one scary ass yell.
She warns Evan and Sam not to mess with the ghost but it’s too late. Those two idiots have already pissed it off. Where would the fun be without seriously angry ghosts anyway?
The ghosts are pretty typical looking, except one. She pops out when I least expect her to, which makes it impossible to prepare for. The fact that I am ridiculously jumpy doesn’t help because I almost suffered a heart attack a few times watching.
Now, there are a few things the family could have learned from watching horror movies. One, if you hear a baby crying in your house and you don’t have a baby, get the F out! Disembodied baby cries are nothing to mess with.
Two, never unblock the crawlspace. Something is always, ALWAYS in there. In fact, padlock that bitch and wire it with C4. You might die but that ghost will be blown straight to Hell.
Three, if someone gives you a means to talk to the dead, don’t do it. You will always unlock something or piss something off in the process. Besides, the knowledge of ghosts in your house will result in nightmares, which results in a lack of sleep and the lack of sleep makes you crazy. All ghost and no sleep makes Jack a crazy boy.
And the most important of all lessons, don’t buy a house where an entire family has died! Something killed them and something will kill you. Call RE/MAX.
The ending is pretty predictable but, in the film’s defense, you can really only go so many ways with a haunted house film. The ending did fit well with the story though and wasn’t at all rushed.
Haunt is a decent throwback to old haunted house films without placing itself in the past. The scares are mostly jump scares but they aren’t prefaced with long bouts of suspense, which makes them unpredictable and therefore, far scarier. I already know who I am going to make watch it so I can laugh when they scream.
Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter