Spooktober Movie Review: Haunt (2019)

What is Haunt?

On Halloween, a group of friends encounters 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. Haunt is directed by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, it stars Katie Stevens, Lauryn McClain, and Andrew Lewis Caldwell.

Do you know the feeling when you go into a movie with little to no expectations and you come out of it having really liked it? Yeah, well was exactly my experience with Haunt. I had previously never heard of this until a YouTuber Chris Stuckmann gave it a positive review last year and my personal taste in movies is similar to Stuckmann’s, so I decided I would eventually check it out. And this year I did indeed do that and I am so glad I took Stuckmann’s recommendation because I found Haunt to be a great horror movie. The budget for the film was low, but the film more than makes up for it in putting incredible details into their characters, setting, and scares. A lot of horror movies, especially some of the most recent ones are only in it to get an easy scare out of their audience, but not Haunt. They actually put thought into the scares in the movie that don’t come off feeling cheap. Also, the setting of the movie is pretty incredible. There’s are very few sets in the movie, but the filmmakers make the most of it by making them terrifying to the characters and the viewers alike. You can truly feel throughout the movie that the filmmakers behind the scenes have a passion for horror movies and wanted to provide fans of the genre an authentic horror movie. I believe they did just that.

Having little to no expectations for Haunt was the best way to go into watching it. That allowed me to be impressed with everything I liked about the movie. The characters who have actual depth provided to them especially the main character Harper played by Katie Stevens. Katie Stevens was actually a huge part of getting me to watch Haunt. I believed she had done an excellent job on The Bold Type, a show I love, and was willing to see her act in something else. Especially something so different from The Bold Type. The Bold Type is a lighthearted drama-comedy show, so to her in a horror movie would be a huge turnaround. Nevertheless, she does a great job as Harper in Haunt as well. The writers give her the most backstory out of all the characters and out of all of them you feel the most sympathy for her. Harper is probably one of my more recent favorite horror protagonist. She was very well written and the other characters are too though to a lesser extent, but Harper is very much the heart of the film and what will keep you there to the very end.

Haunt went under a lot of people’s radars last year and is ultimately a shame because Haunt is a lot better than I believed most people including me would have expected. It’s not the next horror classic, I don’t want to hype it up that much. And depending on your own personal taste you may come away from Haunt feeling like it was stupid or goofy, not everyone’s horror taste is exactly the same. But, I don’t take my horror too seriously and don’t worry if it’s unrealistic or not, I just want my horror to either scare me, entertain me, or both hopefully. If that also sounds like you, give Haunt a chance. It’s a perfect watch for this Halloween season since it takes place on Halloween. All I ask is if you decide to check out Haunt, don’t expect anything innovative for the horror genre. It’s not a new classic horror movie, but it is a nice spin on a classic horror trope and does a very good job at what it sets out to accomplish.

Have you seen Haunt or did it fly under your radar as well? Comment down below.

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