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Haunter (2013) Film Review

Haunter 2013 Movie PosterWritten by Brandy Bunce, MoreHorror.com

Based off the title of this film I was a bit hesitant of how good of a film it would be, with the exception of The Conjuring, paranormal based horror/thrillers have let me down recently, especially after I saw the film stars Abigail Breslin. Thankfully this film did not disappoint in terms of creativity and breaking Breslin from the Little Miss Sunshine shadow that follows her now in her teenage years.  

Directed by Vincenzo Natali who is no stranger to the genre with the cult classic Cube, he successfully confused his audience while sparking their curiosity enough to want to see more throughout this film. I will say the beginning of this film is slightly confusing until close to the end when all the pieces finally start to come together. Yes, go ahead and groan, it’s one of those films that forces you to think.

I wouldn’t say that certain aspects of the storyline are groundbreaking, the kid finds the problem, doesn’t seem to get anyone to understand the severity of the situation, is nosey and investigates which ultimately causes a series of events to unfold; although Natali puts a lot of refreshing twists to this played out story. Take a mixture of Groundhog Day and Goosebumps, add a little teenage angst and you pretty much have the basis of this film. Now with that being said, please don’t go to this film thinking you will be so shaken up by things that go bump in the night that it will make you want to pull out the old nightlight. If that’s the type of ghost story you’re looking for then you will be bitterly disappointed.

The director decided to take this paranormal story to more of the mystery side of the genre, the plus side to that is that this film could be considered a bit family friendly.  Need a night out or a movie night with the family that enjoys tales more on the dark side, then this film will be exactly what you are looking for. Please don’t take that as a negative comment, any film that can spark the interest of young minds into liking the horror/thriller genre I tip my hat to.

One of the main things I can praise this film for having is a minimal amount of computer generated imagery throughout its entirety. The director based his thrills a lot on makeup, lighting, and the story itself. In a world were CGI is pretty heavy handed in films, the philosophy of less is more definitely worked to make the scenes that do use any sort of computer work have more of an effect on the emotion and startle value of the scene. As for Breslin herself, I believe she deserves a pat on the back for her acting throughout this film. She is believable, seems sincere in the scenes where it counts and acts like a teenager we all enjoy liking. Haunter reminds us why we liked her in the first place, in the simplest of terms – the girl can act.

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