It’s nice to see that indie filmmakers can still pull off supernatural movies just as well as, if not better than, the major studios can. I’ve seen, and loved, almost all possession, haunting, ghost movies I can get my hands on from The Exorcist to The Conjuring. Those films, like many others, brought originality and legitimate terror to the big screen and I’m glad to say that Mac Carter has done the same with his 2013 tale, Haunt.
Evan (Harrison Gilbertson) and his family have moved into a new house that the locals believe is haunted. The previous owners suffered terrible tragedies in the house and left behind the Morello Curse. While walking one night, Evan runs into his troubled neighbor, Samantha (Liana Liberato) and a relationship quickly blossoms between the two. After the teens attempt to reach the dead with an EVP machine left behind by the former owners, things in the house quickly go awry and Sam and Evan find out the Morello Curse is real after all.
I always have my doubts about the lower-budget films that deal with the supernatural; I have fear that the overall product will suffer from mediocre effects, bad acting, and boring plotlines. Fortunately, none of those things are present in Haunt and the entire movie is rather enjoyable.
Haunt is more story-driven than most ghost horror films. Instead of relying heavily on tons of scares, there is much thought put into the actually events which are taking place, presently and also in the past, tying up any loose ends which may arise. That’s not to say that there aren’t a fair share of scares to be had. The effects are creepy as all hell and look very impressive.
The acting by our main cast is done very well and I really love the duality of Evan and Sam’s personalities and reactions. Evan is reluctant and frightened, while Sam is curious and excited. We soon see the roles reverse, after things start to get a little hairy for the couple, with Evan now wanting to finish what they’ve started and Sam wishing they could just forget the whole thing ever happened.
I thought it impossible for Carter and his team to create an ending that we haven’t seen before, but I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. The film ends with a twist of originality that is a refreshing take on the supernatural sub-genre and ghost stories in general.
If you are a fan of haunted house films, I highly recommend this one. Haunt is officially available on DVD from IFC Midnight on Tuesday, June 10 so be sure to pick up your copy!
I give Haunt 3.5 dentist chairs out of 5.