November 6, 2013

Haunter (2013)
Remember when Abigail Breslin was like 9, and she was all capturing audiences' hearts with her work in cute flicks like Little Miss Sunshine and Definitely, Maybe?

Well, she's almost 18 now, and it looks like she's not content with being one of America's cuties any longer!

Genre fans probably remember her mostly for two roles; the first was in 2002's Signs, where she save the world from aliens (via glasses of water), all while playing Mel Gibson's adorable little daughter; and the second came seven years later when she played one of the leads in Zombieland.

She must have caught the Horror bug from playing Little Rock in Zombieland, because since then not only has she gone on to do Haunter and The Call, but she's got herself a few high profile genre flicks in the works, including Tyler Sheilds' Final Girl. *Google Tyler Shields if you don't know who he is already. His work is... interesting, to say the least.

2014 will also see her playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie daughter in Maggie.... so yeah, it's safe to say that she likes starring in Horror flicks.

We'll take all of the legitimate actresses that we can get in this genre.

Lisa is a teenager who is tired of her mundane life; it seems like every day is just the same thing over and over again... mainly because it is. She and her family are stuck in some sort of time loop, you see, and every 24-hour period starts, unfolds, and then ends in exactly the same way. To make matters worse, there is a ghost that is haunting her, thus making the whole "repeat cycle" that she's trapped in totally terrifying.

Yes, yes, ghosts are real scary.
She eventually decides to try to figure a way out of her own personal Groundhog's Day, and begins searching for clues. Clues for what? I don't know, but this is one of those types of flicks where someone uncovers clues to like, solve a mystery, so, that's what she does.

Is that a Betamax tape! Mystery solved!
I'm not going to spoil what happens throughout the film here, because there are a few twists and turns that I'd hate to spoil for anyone, but suffice it to say that she's not the titular Haunter. *Stephen McHattie is, and he's a serial killer too boot... oh, the tension!

The question was: are Ouija Boards always creepy?
This movie is watchable for two reasons: Abigail Spencer, and Stephen McHattie. Don't get me wrong, Haunter is a decent little flick in general, helmed by the guy who brought us Cube and Splice, but the movie's leads definitely make the project shine brighter than it would have without them.

Haunter is kinda creepy, albeit in a milder way. Do you remember that old movie from the 80's called The Lady in White? Well I remember that movie creeping the hell out of me when I was a youngin', and to me, Haunter feels very much the same. It's got style and atmosphere to spare, and is effective at what it set out to do.

If anything, Haunter is a good flick to have the young girls in our lives watch, because not only will it creep them out (which we can laugh at), but it's got a pretty heroic female lead in it, which is something that young girls could do with more of these days. Yes, Twilight, I'm calling you out!

Do not go into the light, Abigail Breslin!
The whole thing kinda felt like an over-long episode of Goosebumps at times. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it could have been that much better if they had strayed into darker territory here and there, and made things feel a bit less "kid safe."

I'm not sure what's going on in this picture, but it definitely feels wrong.
Why does every Supernatural Horror movie these days have to do the thing where the ghosts (or whatever) all make these elongated faces and scream at people? In the past few weeks we've seen Haunter, Jug Face and Nothing Left to Fear do it... and it's getting to be as lame as the whole "stuttered/quick movement" thing was in the 2000's.

I mean, why do ghosts do that? Are they angry about something? Is that how people talk in the afterlife? Do they just like appearing suddenly, contorting their faces and screaming, just to freak people out? If it's the third one, then I have to wonder if ghosts couldn't be a bit more productive with their time. That can not be all that there is to being a spirit in the afterlife these days... there just has to be more to it than that!

"Why am I screaming?!?"
Not that kind of flick.

I guess don't eat the soup?
Not that kind of flick either.

Stephen McHattie is one of the best character actors working today whom most people probably don't even know about. Shame, that.

You sir, are awesome!
Haunter is a decent little flick that should please most Horror fans on some level, although it will feel a bit slow and kid friendly for some viewers. At least that means the younger audience should dig it though. If you like Haunted House flicks, especially those that feel a lot like The Others, then give Haunter a shot on VOD. At least it's something a bit different from the norm.


Nominated for an Academy Award at just 10-years-old, Abigail Breslin is growing up to be just as good of an adult actress as she was when she was a kid. She's 17 now, which is still a kid, but she's almost not a kid...  I'm just saying that God, I hope Tyler Shields doesn't corrupt this poor girl's soul...


  1. Thanks for doing reviews again!

  2. Yeah, Anon, the whole 31 Days thing is fun every year, but it's always nice to just get back to doing reviews, because that's really what we wanna do, you know?