Let’s go to the spooky house huehuehuehuehuehuehue.
Haunt is a Shudder exclusive about six friends who visit a haunted house that advertises itself as the scariest thing ever and will feed into their darkest fears. It was kind of funny to watch this film after that haunted house that no one has made it through has been in the news. A documentary about that one might be interesting. Be sure to read the comments if you look it up, there are always folks who claim they could easily do it and win the $20,000. Don’t believe them. They would have done it if they could. It is funny how people choose to lie on the internet.
Oh yeah, I was going to review this movie.
The characters are terrible in this film. I tried to pay attention—seriously! We primarily follow a gal who is in an abusive relationship, which is sad—I’m not trying to minimize this aspect, but it is an odd entry point into this film. Her friends (I can’t remember any of the character names) pressure her into going out (despite her having a bruise on her face) and then promptly abandon her as new dude seems interested in her (you might think I meant to say “a new dude” but let’s just name him new dude).
Look, all of this is just done to contrive a reason for this cavalcade of morons to end up at a haunted house. I mean, anger management infused douche filter is included in the group? Why would anyone think this is a good idea? What college is this? What? Who am I? Who are you?
Seriously, they don’t notice her abusive boyfriend is following them despite her pretty much announcing it. If your friends are this dense, don’t trust them.
It only takes them about fifteen minutes for them to actually get to the house, but holy cow you’ll feel every single one of them. Even then, it is still a bit longer before anything actually happens.
Also, who the hell just wanders into a haunted house found in the middle of nowhere? I feel like in the age of Yelp and smartphones people don’t just random into things (let alone a bunch of apparently upper-middle-class young adults).
Spoilers ahead, I guess.
So, it is damn obvious that the people being hurt in the house are actual victims. I feel like I’ve seen this movie before, not this one, but another. With the same plot and bad characters. The twist is too obvious. I would have liked it more if no one was actually being hurt and it was really just all in their heads. Nope, gotta have stupid people being stupid and getting killed for their stupidity.
It isn’t any worse than the films it shamelessly steals from. There, that is the best I can say. If you like all the other haunted house participants are actually the victims films, you’ll probably like this one.
As for streaming originals, Shudder is proving to be competent. While I found this one to be too derivative, there is something to be said about doing something simply, but well. Despite not liking the characters, the film does add ample tension in the set pieces. Stronger characters would help, but so would pacing. We get an okay scare followed by a lot of dialogue that just doesn’t work.
The film is batting around a 6 on IMDB and I think that is pretty accurate. Good effort from all the actors, cool sets, and a commitment to tone make it work, but somewhat contrived characterizations of standardized horror characters hold it back. Worth a watch on Halloween (which will have come and gone before this review is posted), but this is fun horror to get some adrenaline on any weekend.
Rent or stream.