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Belittling Horror Excessively: Haunt01:24 PM -- Sat October 10, 2015

Haunt

My Review: This is finally a classic ghost story! There is a very effective and creepy first scene that really got me into this movie, setting up the situation. There is a ghost that’s haunting this house, and it’s killed everybody but the mother. She of course moves out, as you do, and another family buys the house. The son of this new family, and the girl next door who becomes very attached to him amazingly fast, end up encountering this ghost some more, things go down, people die. That’s pretty much it.

But I was very engrossed. The story all checks out for once, the ghost’s motivations make sense, the backstory comes together bit by bit, the twists are there (no brain-ripping ones, but some good surprises nonetheless), fairly reasonable decisions by the characters, it’s all just solid. All but one thing: the ending is a major letdown. It actually feels very much like the setup for a climax to the movie. Kind of the second-to-last major event. Only in this movie, it’s the last event, so you’re sorta left hanging. Much like in The Guest previously, the movie ends in a state that is unresolved - the danger is still there, some of the victims are still present to face the danger, so why are we stopping now?

My Rating: 4/5 Otherworldly CB Radios.

My Movie Idea: Here’s a fun one! It’s an anthology movie, which I always love. You know how many movies feature an ancient book that is evil and should never be opened or read? You always end up coming across the notes of somebody who went mad studying it, and the current characters in the movie just read one passage and cause all kinds of havoc. But what about that guy who went mad? The wrap-around story in my movie is the story of that guy. He is the first to find this book, in some old tomb or whatever, and he’s going through it and cataloguing it, figuring out what it is and where it fits historically.

The movie then goes through a sequence for each chapter: the chapter begins with a brief story of how this particular dark magic was discovered, and we have a short tale of that (so some random guy in the middle ages bargaining with demons or something, and meeting a messy end after recording how the ritual works). Then back to the present with the book-studying guy trying out the spell and accomplishing something - so the wrap-around story is a real story, not just some excuse for the flashback stories. He has all sorts of problems like a bad boss and a cheating wife and whatever else, and he tries these spells to fix them. Each chapter goes through that sequence, where it’s a story from the past about that spell, and then a story from his life about it too. So you get the anthology fun, and the structure that you can get excited about - “this spell is dumb, I hope the next one is better” - but you also get a straightforward movie about him trying to use magic to solve his problems and learning why you shouldn’t do that.

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