Starring: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
One of the most tried and true sub genres of horror is the "haunted house". As far back as we can remember, the general idea was every house holds a secret...and that secret is it wants to kill you. Well, either the house itself or some pissed off ghost. This film is more about the latter, but from a different perspective. In Haunter, it's The Others meets Groundhog's Day as the young heroine of the film, Lisa, is dead and has been since 1994. Unlike The Others, Lisa is aware of her dead-ness. Her family, however, is oblivious to the fact. As such, her after existence consists of the same day, the eve of her sixteenth birthday, repeating ad nauseum.
The majority of Haunter consists of young Lisa (Abigail Breslin) becoming increasingly drawn to a new presence in the home. A living presence. After attempting to contact this new person a few times, a strange Pale Man (Stephen McHattie) begins to come around and he "doesn't like Busy Bettie's".
Honestly, this is as good as it gets with Haunter. While I did like the acting and dialogue, there isn't much else to offer here. There are a lot of the standard ghost house trappings: ethereal fog, mysterious doors, trips to the "other side", etc, but not much of anything new. I mentioned it follows the dead chick, right? Yeah, that's pretty much the only difference here. The Pale Man is menacing to say the least, but in the end, it feels Haunter is best suited for just passing the time than providing a truly engaging experience.
Overall Rating: Wounded and Limping