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The Haunting Of...

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

The gist: teenage girl has a crazy, religious mother and has to deal with mean kids at her high school. Bad things happen.

If this sounds familiar, it's probably because you've been watching Carrie.
Or you had your own crazy mother and hated high school.
Or both. It could be both.

The story is fairly predictable with moments that feel like The Craft and moments that feel like Carrie and then some that seem kind of like The Devil's Advocate. Despite being an underwhelming and derivative little film, it wasn't entirely terrible.

What did give me a pleasant little surprise was the ending: no one was "saved" and everyone who did survive lived happily ever after as a servant of Satan. Hooray! Kind of like The Omen complete with a set up for a sequel that would likely run parallel to Damien: Omen II, were anyone to care enough to make said sequel. Unlikely.

Overall, the movie is just a high school drama with a horror bent. If you're into that kind of thing, you'll unabashedly enjoy this schlocky little movie.

You can watch the trailer here:


The Haunting of Helena

The gist: woman moves daughter into spooky new home, daughter begins hanging out with an imaginary friend who makes creepy requests, mother finds out that the imaginary friend is really a vengeful ghost.

We've seen this story unfold a million times. At times, I did feel like I was watching The Ring (or Ringu - whichever you prefer). The lesson here is that helping a vengeful ghost is never a good idea. Whatever you think they have asked for is never all that they want. Even if you solve their mystery, they're still pissed off and will still destroy your life. Basically, if you become embroiled in a whodunit with an angry spirit, you might as well kill yourself because your life is essentially over.

Still not convinced? Watch The Orphanage. Or The Grudge.

The setting feels expected and somehow cliched at this point: a haunted apartment that the family is forced to move out of and for some reason they take refuge in a haunted hospital / asylum. Out of the proverbial frying pan and all.

I was more disappointed that the set up for the movie implied there would be an evil tooth fairy, a concept that I completely love, and then turned out to be about angry ghosts. There are simply not enough evil tooth fairies in the world. Which is mystifying to me as the concept of a creature that comes to your house while you sleep and buys your teeth from you can be nothing but creepy. What the hell does she do with all those teeth? And why do we tell our children about this, like it's a natural, normal, comforting thing?!

Anyway. As is typical for a foreign horror movie, the movie seemingly ended and then started again, which always makes my attention wander. I was able to notice that the effects were pretty good and the acting not too painful.

If you're into the genre, you'll like this movie as much as you've liked all the others exactly like it that you've already seen.

You can watch the trailer here:


The Haunting of Julia

The gist: at home tracheotomy goes wrong and a child ends up dead. Mother moves into creepy apartment to forget about this colossal fuck up and is terrorized by the spirt of a dead girl. Everyone ends up dead.

The message here? Medical procedures are best left to professionals. Oh yeah, and Mia Farrow just can't catch a break. Speaking of, if this movie makes you feel a strange sense of deja vu, don't worry, you haven't really seen it before. You've just seen Rosemary's Baby a few hundred times.

It also feels similar to The Changeling (in many ways) which came a few years after The Haunting of Julia. I suppose that means this movie isn't as forgotten as I might tend to believe.

Overall, if you love late 70's ghost stories, you'll be pleased enough with this movie.
If you're looking for something a little faster-paced with more special effects, try the remake of House on Haunted Hill (or something like that).

You can watch the trailer here:

The Haunting At Silver Falls

The gist: orphaned girl moves in with creepy relatives, tries to solve a murder mystery at the behest of some ghosts, and finds out she's landed in something that feels like a bad rip-off of a David Lynch movie.

Before I begin the real ranting, this movie is apparently "based on a true story". Oh my fucking god. Ghosts are not a thing. This movie is not based on true anything. Shut up.

Okay. Moving on...

This movie had one of those amazing mixes of "really obvious plot points" and "characters who are apparently morons because they can't see what's going to happen". Anyone who isn't immediately creeped out by the sketchy aunt and her rape-y husband deserves whatever they get. Seriously.

With a mix of multiple types of ghost stories but, no real merit or memorable elements of its own, I put this movie roughly on par with Haunter.

There's a sprinkling of well-know actors but, no great acting. And, side note. Why is this movie filled with child actors with dumb names? "Alix"?! "Tadhg"?! "Nikita"?! "Jade"?! Is this shit for real?!

I can't think of any reason anyone would want to watch this one, so don't bother.

But, you can watch the trailer here:


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