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.
Starring: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, and Lauryn Alisa McClain
Written and directed by: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
Scott Beck and Bryan Woods really put themselves on the map with “A Quiet Place.” It’s definitely one of the better horror movies of the last couple of years, and is very deserving of a sequel. It turns out that while they were writing that movie, they were also working on another one called “Haunt.” And do you want to know what “Haunt” is…it’s the haunted house from hell!
Harper (Katie Stevens) is having issues with her boyfriend abusing her, and her friend Bailey (Lauryn Alisa Caldwell) tries to get her to dump him. She reluctantly makes a decision about him as her friends are ready to party on Halloween. After some drinks, the group decides the best way for them to celebrate is to go to a haunted house. They think they’re in for some fun and games, but the people running this house have a hell of a lot more in store for them.
As the group makes its way through the house, it becomes obvious that the house is as big of a star as anyone in this movie. It’s laid out well, as it challenges the group moving through each section. Sometimes it’s a mental challenge, sometimes it’s physical, and other times it’s just plain deadly. Unlike many typical haunted attractions, this one even makes the group crawl through tight spaces causing all kinds of tension.
The haunted house from hell is set up by a bunch of interesting looking individuals wearing masks. While their masks are creepy enough to be best sellers at any Halloween shop, there’s a surprise under each one of them. Some movies wait until the end to reveal what’s under the mask, or maybe not at all, but this movie has no fear showing what’s under the hood. The brilliance of this is that is gives the audience another thing to look forward to as the story moves along.
To top it off, there are plenty of great death scenes. What’s great about them is that they allow the audience to feel the victim’s pain. There’s no shying way when the victim is about to be stabbed, hit, shot, or whatever. Some are quick, and others may involve a little extra pain before ultimately passing away. Probably the best one involves someone’s face being rearranged.
“Haunt” will remind fans of movies any where from “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” to “Funhouse,” to even “Saw.” After all is said and done, fans might be remembering this movie as well. Again, the haunted house is straight out of hell, and the masked individuals are the perfect clowns to be running it. Between the group of friends and the killers, there are enough gut wrenching deaths to go around. And just when it seems to be all over there’s a perfectly fitting final scene that punctuates the movie. With that, I give it 4 pools of blood, and can’t wait to see what Scott and Bryan come up with in “A Quiet Place 2!”
*Shown at the 5th Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival