Haunter (2013)

Well hey there, WordPress! Glad you’re still here. I may or may not have been playing a lot of video games recently, and probably not dissertating like I should be, and therefore neglecting my blogging duties. Sorry. Also, I cooked some pretty bitchin’ lamb chops tonight, and followed those up with a bottle of really great malbec (Santa Julia–highly recommended), so I may or may not be making sense right now. BUT.

Haunter is a fun movie. It’s got at least one obvious thing in common with The Others: namely, that the protagonist is a ghost, and some of the weird stuff that happens is actually a result of her interactions with the living. A difference is that we know this from practically the beginning, which changes the tone of things considerably. It’s far from horror, falling more squarely into the supernatural thriller circle; but it’s got a really interesting take on ghosts and hauntings, wherein ghosts are stuck in a kind of time-warp, linked by unexpected objects and behaviors to the world of the living. Nothing here is new, really, but it’s smart in a way that makes it eminently watchable. (Also wine helps.)

The film is hindered by some cheesy effects, like slow motion scenes that hearken back to ’80s TV dramas, and more than one go-int0-the-light sequence that kind of make you grind your teeth a little bit, but overall it’s an interesting take on the concept of a haunting. The whole cast does a fairly bang-up job, with Abigail Breslin (stunningly, the daughter from Signs) carrying the bulk of the film’s running length, but supported by some really decent performances all around. Stephen McHattie, the amazingly not-Lance Henriksen who TOTALLY fooled me (CRAP he looks like Lance Henriksen), was great as the villain–and SERIOUSLY I thought he was Lance Henriksen for like ten minutes there.

Haunter isn’t scary. It’s tragic, but it’s also rewarding, with at least one moment where you actually root for the scary screamy ghosty-types. It’s on Netflix, so check it out.


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