Thursday, October 16, 2014

30 Days of Nightmares #16: HAUNT (2013)

The Story: A family moves into a reputedly haunted house and stirs up angry ghosts.

Expectations: My synopsis is probably unfair, because what drew me to this movie was the Netflix synopsis about an "introverted teen" who falls in love with the "pretty girl next door," and "adolescent passions igniting a series of odd occurrences."  This at least sounded like a novel spin on the same old haunted house story: Love (or lust?) conjures the demons.

Reaction: This film worked for me for two main reasons.  #1. The director and the editor understand how to deliver a jump scare.  The flashy editing style diminishes any hope for a lasting horror effect, but the techniques used here are worthy of a tutorial in horror movie gimmickry.  #2. Even though the star-crossed teenage lovers are stupid enough to play with an antique spirit box in a hidden room in the attic (and therefore sort of deserve to get eviscerated by ghosts), their rapport was sweet enough to make me care what happened to them.  A spirit of heartfelt wonder and youthful daring elevates this otherwise routine ghost story. 

Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: See poster above.

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