Haunter (2013)

Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb

Remember Groundhog day? That song was how he started off each day, and the day would just repeat over and over no matter what he did. Well, welcome to Haunter. They decided that Groundhog Day, a comedy with Bill Murry doing wacky, funny things would be a great horror story.

Step one: Change the main character.
So, we replace Bill with a 15-year-old angst-ridden girl played by Abigail Breslin. I last saw her as Little Rock in Zombieland (a great movie). She does an okay job here acting like a teenage girl who is moody and generally bored; I suspect method acting. She needs to work on her scared and upset acting.

Step two: Set the mood.
Good news - the production team got themselves a brand new fog machine, and it is in tip-top form. That sucker is spewing out more fog than you can imagine. They even set it on low and pump a fine mist into the basement. Outside, though, it is as thick as pea soup, and that's the way they like it.

Step three: Annoying family.
Well, they have to be annoying, don't they? Little brothers are easy to write as annoying, so no great stretch there (although he could have been WAY more annoying). And the parents are a strange version of the Cleavers from Leave It to Beaver. They seem reasonable and confused, and that combination will set off any teenage girl, that's for damn sure.

Step four: Add ghosts.
They can be scary and not. So, why not use both? Suddenly, with the inclusion of ghosts that upset the norm, the whole Groundhog Day thing really loses its teeth. Even the scary ghosts are not particularly scary, and the friendly ones rely on startling rather than scaring.

Step five: Cut off from the outside world.
Fog. Car broken. Phones not working. Neighbors apparently very, very far away.

No more steps. No more need to innovate. Profit.
I remember when scary movies were supposed to be scary.

Acting was middle of the road at best
Directing was okay
Story is pretty lousy
Dialog is just bad
Camerawork is moderate



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