Saturday, November 9, 2013

Haunter (2013): A Supernatural Groundhog Day

~review by Marie Robinson

For those of you who are fed up with the lack of originality in recent horror cinema, consider Haunter a beacon in the darkness. This Canadian supernatural sleeper comes to us from director Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube), and writer Brian King (Night Train).

It stars Abigail Breslin (Zombieland) as Lisa, a moody teenager with a music taste pretty similar to mine. What is really troubling her, though, is that she is stuck reliving the same day in 1985 over and over again, while her parents and little brother are seemingly oblivious. She tries desperately to break the routine and bring her family members to the realization that they are all dead.

When Lisa challenges the monotonousness she is threatened by a grim entity credited as the Pale Man (Stephen McHattie). He warns not to meddle with his arrangement, or try and contact the living, as she has been trying to do by way of an Ouija board, or she will suffer a fate worse than death.

Unfortunately, this is really all the plot information I feel comfortable giving you. However, let me reinstate that this is a very original concept and there is plenty more storyline to follow where I left off. It is a slow-burner, so events take place very gradually over the course of the film, but I don’t fear you’ll have trouble staying interested in Haunter.

While an unconventional storyline, well-developed characters and lovely cinematography are a few qualities that make Haunter a good film, the performances are what truly bring it to life. Abigail Breslin has been a promising actress from the start, and at age 17 she is only getting better. Her acting is flawless, compelling, and extremely impressive from a performer her age. I sincerely hope she continues to do more genre work—we could use a few new scream queens!

Another favorite of mine is Stephen McHattie (Pontypool); his face is so deliciously expressive he could easily give an entrancing performance without speaking, but then you would be robbed of his wonderful voice. McHattie has been in a fair amount of genre work in his day, such as Tales from the Darkside, The Twilight Zone (1980’s series), The X-Files, and plenty of others, and it looks like there’s only more to come. His upcoming films include the disturbing and psychological Torment (2013), and Hellmouth (2013), which is directed by John Geddes (Exit Humanity, also featuring McHattie), and written by Tony Burgess (Pontypool).

So far I am quite the fan of Natali’s work and I’m very excited to see what he has next—which is apparently a segment in the ABC’s of Death 2, set for a 2014 release.


Anonymous said...

Hadden I was going to give you a part in my film but now I am not. Your horror blog is the worst horror blog out there. You have not got a clue how to do a horror blog. Dont bother replying to this as I wont be reading it.

Christine Hadden said...

Every comment is appreciated. Even from anonymous readers that don't have the balls to post their names.

Warden Stokely said...

Aww. Little Abigail is all grown up! And seriously, we do need some fresh stuff to digest for sure. This is definitely on my list, and so are you, Christine, and not in a wierd way, I just like your blog! So, Congratulations! You are the recipient of the Sunshine Award!
So until next time...Keep those fires stoked!
Eternally yours

Christine Hadden said...

Warden: Thanks for the kind words and the award! Marie and I both thank you very much, we love hearing from our readers!!
And I'm going to add your blog to our blog roll, keep up the good work :)

Rg Lovecraft said...

I've been seeking a new good supernatural flick and may have just found it. Great post Christine!

I see Warden already beat me to the punch, but I love reading your blog and (just so you know) you're linked on mine as well!

Keep it spooky,

Christine Hadden said...

Rg: Thanks go to Marie for that review, she always does great work!

But thanks to you for the nice words about the blog - always nice to hear!!

Marie Robinson said...

What am I, chopped liver?!

Warden Stokely said...

Marie, Marie, Marie! Hell no! You're not chopped liver! I just didn't realize I was dealing with TWO awesome women bloggers! I always see the posted by Christine, and I gave her all the credit! Sorry Christine! for stealing your thunder, but it looks like you're gonna have to share this Sunshine Award! If Ida been sharper, I would have realized the "About Me" was about Marie. So, dang gal, seriously, no! You chicks rock! Sometimes, I get confused and give the wrong person props, cause I'm new, no excuses here, just messed up. When it's reviewed by one, and posted by another, I need to pay closer attention, cause I automatically look at the end of the post and Ass uME it's written by the poster! Big duh on my part. And believe me, that won't happen again! Thanks for callin me out, and keeping me in check! Please accept my apology! Chopped liver? NOT! Until next time...Keep those fires stoked, gals.
Eternally yours
Warden Stokely

Christine Hadden said...

Thanks for setting that straight Warden! I always try to put Marie's name at the top of the post if she's written a review or the likes, because she deserves the credit first and foremost. I'm the administrator so I post everything, but Marie is a hard-working, brilliant writer that I'm ever-so-lucky to have writing for me!!

Marie Robinson said...

Thanks Warden and Christine!! xoxo

Warden Stokely said...

You bet, Christine! And...."The worst horror blog out there?" Clearly, anonymous hasn't visited mine. hahaha. Sheesh, some people have far too much time on their hands. Anywho, NO! Thank you Marie! xoxo And Christine? For what it's worth, I like your blog! Until next time...Keep those fires stoked girls!
Eternally Yours