I hate to break it to you guys, but Little Miss Sunshine is dead. Ok, Abigail Breslin is dead. In Haunter, there is no ‘I see dead people’ twist. We know from the beginning that Lisa and her family have passed away. Thus, we embark on a horror movie version of Groundhog Day. If every review doesn’t state just that, then they didn’t watch the film. It is just that.
Haunter, although not a rip off, relies on the same type of gimmicks portrayed in various movies. There is the aspect that some of the characters do not know they are dead. There is the idea of a serial killer trapping girls in his home – their souls forever stuck. There is the idea that this killer’s essence is seeping into a family member, and causing them to murder their own family. And, with all of that thrown into the mix, the movie tends to be a bit of a jumbled mess. In all honesty, it took me three days to finish it, having to rewind several sequences, to complete the film.
The movie has an interesting enough premise, but the execution simply is boring. I was far more mesmerized by Lisa’s Siouxsie and the Banshees tshirt and David Bowie poster, as her timeline is set in 1985. Yes, there are a few timelines represented of past and future: Girls the original killer, Edgar Mullens, killed, and girls from the families where the father figure was possessed. All in all, as it tries to be creepy and disturbing, it just tends to repeat, much like Lisa’s days, which is ultimately sad because the movie is filmed and edited extremely well.
The DVD release includes a teaser poster, a trailer and a behind the scenes feature that lasts around 20 minutes. It does give a spin on the being dead and not knowing it perspective, like being a teenager and seeing the world completely different than everyone around you. The biggest thing I noticed in this extra, however, is that everyone’s microphones don’t seem to be working. Storyboards for the entire film are included. 54 minutes of scrolling storyboards. Do you like storyboards? You’re in luck.
Promising, as it is directed by Vincenzo Natali (Splice), the movie fails to bring much that is shocking or memorable. It isn’t a bad movie, but Haunter just seems to lack the momentum it needs to be good.