director Vincenzo Natali
It would be easy to get a little reductive about describing Haunter, a horror film from director Vincenzo Natali (Splice (2010), Cube (1997)). It’s a little like The Others (2001) or Beetlejuice (1988) meets Groundhog Day (1993) with a creepy serial killer and set in 1985.
Abigail Breslin plays Lisa, a would-be goth with her Siouxsie shirt, Bauhaus and Bowie posters. You’d think she’d be kinda cool with being dead and ghosts and stuff. See, she’s stuck in this rut with her middle America family, mac’n’cheese for lunch, meatloaf for dinner, every day, but it really is a nightmare and they really are dead, reliving one day again and again and she’s the only one to realize it.
Only it’s more complicated than that. See, it’s the serial killer whose house they moved into who keeps them as they are and doesn’t want them to wake up. He likes to kill whole families that move into his house, even the one in present day with all the Ikea furnishings and iPads. Of course, Lisa will figure this out and solve everything.
The film starts out sort of weak and like the cobble of movies mentioned before. But it eventually works its way to moderately interesting. Breslin is a normal-looking girl, not particularly interesting, and while she’s not bad, I felt like I could almost see her acting, like hitting her cues.
I guess it’s not so surprising that this one sneaked its way onto DVD without much fanfare in the theaters.