Rule #1 – Stay on the marked path at all times
Rule #2 – Never touch the actors
Rule #3 – You’ll be prompted to do certain actions. Please do exactly as you are told. This is for your safety.
Rule #4 – All cell phones must be surrendered to the lockbox before entering.
Haunt is hitting Shudder this Thursday, October 24th! Directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, it stars Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn McClain, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Raja and Schuyler Helford.
On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an "extreme" haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real.
Here’s what I loved (spoilers):
“Get the fuck out of my safe space bro”, Evan was a standout character. Firstly, he’s dressed as a one-person human centipede because everyone else bailed on the costume. And he’s the comedic relief. He’s also the most animated character as the rest of the teens are quite subdued throughout.
The masks and the killers themselves. Inside this haunt are a group of strange individuals who have trapped these teens and are trying to kill them. They all wear creepy masks and robes which is super effective. One particular scene involved a hallway filled with what appear to be people covered in white robes. Only one of them is actually a real human and moves, throwing you off guard. Of course, we’ve seen this type of scene a lot, but it’s still damn effective every time!
When the killers remove their masks, they are heavily body modded. What I didn’t like though was that they never explain why. Who are these guys? Why have they done this to their faces? Why are they killing people? There’s not even a hint as to why. This can sometimes work in stories, leaving it all up to your imagination, but unfortunately with this story, it fell short and left me frustrated.
Kill wise, there’s not a tone of new inventive stuff going on – BUT….there was two great scenes right near each other. The first is when Bailey backs up and stands on the plank of nails that goes right through her foot. The lead up to that was really great and when she actually stepped on the nail I almost felt the pain. Grosssss. And then shortly after she falls and her hands fall onto a plank of superglue which she then has to rip off. Skin coming with. So gross, so good.
There’s a lot of jump scares in this movie which will be very effective for the casual horror movie viewer.
The only thing I was put off by was of course, the lack of explanation about why this is all happening. And also, Bailey’s backstory. That’s just personal preference. I’m just over women having to have been abused to become strong.
Overall, Haunt doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it doesn’t have to. It’s blessedly short (compared to a lot of new horror running at 2 + hours), it’s fun, it doesn’t require a lot of brain cells, and it’s gory. Save it for Halloween, watch with some friends, and have a great time doing so!
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