Movie Review: “Haunter” – In for a Mystery?

Written by Foster Dyck November 01, 2013

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I watch horror films not to be scared, but for one of two reasons- either they are hilariously stupid or their plot lines are intriguing. I found “Haunter” to be the latter.  Although not particularly scary, I found it to have an element of mystery with turns that keep you interested in the movie. All together I was pleased with “Haunter.”

The Movie starts off with a “Groundhog Day” type setting where a family repeats the same day over and over again. The daughter and eldest of two children realize the pattern and find out they are dead. Her family is unwilling or unable to realize the truth of their situation and things escalate and Lisa begins to hear voices. These voices eventually lead her to encounters with other trapped souls, both aware of their death and unaware. Through her somewhat unsettling journey in the cage of a house they are all trapped in, she unravels the mystery of the killer, and, with any luck, she will be able to save her family.

Dead haunting dead, its powerful stuff

I have to give credit to this movie, it had a plot line which, although similar to ‘scares’ in other movies, followed its own original path. I enjoyed watching a haunting from the perspective of the dead; it brought intrigue from the start.  I have a particular weakness for movies that keep you guessing and this movie did just that. The mystery itself was fairly easy to figure out, but the details of the proceedings keep you trying to find out exactly what happened. I enjoyed it and feel this movie will most likely go underrated and under viewed.

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The movie had a lot of positive elements even besides its unique plot structure. The acting from Abigail Breslin was well done, even if it was more ‘little miss depression’ than “Little Miss Sunshine”.  The supporting cast gave a good performance and the villain was played excellently by Stephen McHattie. The camera shots were done very well and the whole thing looked extremely professional while only really having 3 different sets. Although there were not many special effects in the movie; the few they had were done tastefully and the make-up was also done fantastically.  All in all it was a well made horror film; hell, it was a well made film period.

I’m trapped in a house of emotions!

It did have some bad sides to it as well. If you watch horror for a giggle or a scare you might not enjoy this. It is more of a suspense film than anything else and I would relate it more closely to a “Shutter Island” type movie. The ending was drawn out to the point of almost ruining the climactic effect it should have had. There were also some gaps left that needed to be filled in. The identity of the killer becomes known but his motives were never realized.  It is never explained how she can tell what is real from what is a fabrication but it seems she has some ability too. After drawing out the climax they leave very little time for wrap up. This type of thing is fine if you like filling in the blanks for yourself, which I have ever since “Mad Libs”, but if you like to be completely filled in after watching a movie you will be disappointed.

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All in all “Haunter” was an enjoyable movie and did not feel like a waste of time at all. Rated strictly as a horror film I would give this film a 5/10, which means averagely scary and unsettling. If I rate it as a movie, void of genre, then I think it deserves higher. It has intrigue and a plot to keep you on your toes . All in all, a good watch.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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