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Haunt – 5

Director – Mac Carter

Cast – Jacki Weaver, Liana Liberato, Harrison Gilbertson, Ione Skye, Brian Wimmer, Danielle Chuchran, Ella Harris, Carl Hadra, Sebastian Michael Barr

Release Year – 2014

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I am a sucker for a lot of things, and haunted house films are one of the many. This is the sole reason behind why I gave Haunt a chance, and while this effort gave me nothing I haven’t seen before I still enjoyed it to an extent. The story follows the Asher family after the move into a home with a known haunted past. Soon after their arrival the oldest son, Evan, befriends their shy neighbor Sam, and together they try to uncover the secrets that plague the home, unwittingly unleashing the evil force that dwells within.

Haunt begins in awesome fashion, with a flashback to the home’s initial haunting that started it all. Fast forward to present time and we are somewhat introduced to the protagonist characters, as well as the wife/mother of the family that preceded them – suffering a terrible demise. Before long Evan meets Sam, and he provides the comfort he lacks in moving to a new home. Sam her has own problems at home, and together they use the Asher house past to quench their frustration and curiosities. I enjoyed the horror we received, and that is due heavily to the film’s atmosphere. First-time director Mac Carter does a fantastic job setting a creepy mood heavy in shadows and low lighting. Before the scares occur you already feel the spooks approaching, with the only disappointment being that most of the scares are jump scares. I did highly enjoy the look of the ghosts and found them very creepy, ignoring the fact that they sometimes came via CGI. If I can ignore CGI when I normally balk at a film not using live effects then you know the direction is good. The rest of the film is so-so, with a mediocre story and decent execution of every other element involved, like acting, character development, etc. Carter’s execution of the horror is positive and should provide a few jolts, but the horror itself is one-dimensional and hardly enough to make this a good horror film.

Overall, Haunt gets things right when it comes to the horror, but the story holds it back. Had we been given more of this awesome horror than more faults could have been overcome, and while this is not a terrible film it definitely did not fully satisfy my expectations for a positive horror flick. If you have nothing else to watch and want to enjoy some good atmosphere then this may suffice, but only if you are low on other selections.

Rating: 6/10

…Additional Stills…

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