Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Haunter

(2013) **1/2

Lisa wakes up wearing her Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt, interrupts her brother playing Pac-Man, throws on the headphones for her walkman, and does a number of other heavy-handed activities that place her clearly in the early-mid 1980s.  She goes through the same day again and again and again.  She realizes that she's dead of course, but the rest of her family is oblivious.  Sadly, she's also trapped from leaving her home as it is enshrouded by fog, putting her in a sort of groundhog day prison.  After many weeks of this, Lisa begins to notice very small, subtle changes, and then has glimpses of another family living in her home, thirty years in the future.  Lisa proceeds, step by step to uncover how she and her family were killed, avoid the menacing "Edgar", and possibly save the lives of the next family living in the home.

Ever since The Sixth Sense, there have been countless other movies where the big payoff turns out to be, "Oh, he/she was a ghost after all!  Wow, and I thought that they were alive!"  This movie takes the reverse tactic of the ghost already aware that she is a ghost, and working back from there.  It's a good premesis. 

There's nothing really wrong with this movie.  It's not one where you're upset for having watched it.  But, there's nothing scary, creepy, or curious about it either.  It's abundantly clear that lisa was killed by Edgar from the beginning, so the whole "search for answers" part of the movie seems like Lisa just spinning her wheels.  Abigail Breslin is very good as Lisa.  She's a strong character who is not afraid of Edgar or the other ghosts at all.  I applaud this characterization, but at the same time, when the protagonist isn't afraid at all, then the antagonist doesn't seem scary or threatening either. 

5 comments:

JPX said...

I had this on my list to watch! The premise sounds like fun but I agree with you, if it doesn't scare you it's not doing it's job. We must have published reviews at the exact same time (sorry about squashing you). I ad a similar problem with the film I just posted about. Nice summary.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

This looks somewhat interesting but I agree, if the title of your movie is "Haunter" then you'd better damn well scare the audience.

Catfreeek said...

Sounds like a solid mediocre.

Octopunk said...

That's too bad, the premise sounds quite good and I like Abigail Breslin. This genre has a lot of misfires.

AC said...

sounds well done but pointless.