Review: Haunter (2013)

Posted in Reviews by - January 19, 2014
Review: Haunter (2013)

Director Vincenzo Natali’s last film, Splice, is one of my favorite films of 2010. His latest effort, the smaller themed, but no less interesting and experimental, film Haunter is another of his films that wins in my book, making it onto my top 10 of 2013 list. The film stars Abigail Breslin as the film’s protagonist, Lisa Johnson, a teenage girl who discovers that she is a ghost living in an eternal loop. Stephen McHattie stars opposite as the Pale Man, the undead spirit of a serial killer that threatens a new victim that can only be saved by Lisa – but at great risk.

The film is a fascinating look at what makes a ghost story and how “haunting” works – who is the haunted and who is the haunter. McHattie makes for a scary villain but lacks that extra special something, an instantly recognizable trait or flesh out purpose that would make him a modern day Freddy Kruger. The ideas behind the film are what drive the film making the audience think and scream. The review is available up on HorrorNews.Net.

Haunter is a big surprise, a minor ghostly masterpiece – one that will likely get overlooked by many. It should not. The intelligent script takes a fascinating look at the whole concept of what a ghost is, drawing on the conceit that many ghosts are reliving their lives over and over. Writer-director Vincenzo Natali runs with the idea of what if the ghost suddenly realized she was a ghost and tried to do something about it. Add to that the ghost of the killer responsible for her death now has her trapped in her horrifying purgatory only to realize he is set to kill again – and that she might possibly be able to stop him but at great risk. Abigail Breslin and Stephen McHattie are fantastic as the leads with Breslin bringing an exceptional and welcomed depth to the role while McHattie brings his usual creepy charm to The Pale Man. Haunter has all the makings of a classic horror film but refuses to conform to high marketing concepts to over sell and over saturate its key villain. Instead Natali focuses on the complex challenges, conflicts and choices that face its lead character, the very normal, Lisa Johnson. Never getting a deserved theatrical release, Haunter from IFC films is currently available on VOD and should not be missed now or when it become available on DVD and BluRay in the coming months.” – Doc Rotten, HorrorNews.Net – 01/07/2014

This post was written by Doc Rotten
Doc Rotten is a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and podcast host for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, Decades of Horror 1980s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast, Hannibal Fan Podcast and The Future of Horror. He was also co-host Dracula on TV TALK and was a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior. He is also a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist.