Movie Review: Haunt (2019)

Synopsis: On Halloween night, a group of college friends decide to visit an "extreme" haunted house. They think it will be a great way to spend the evening and score some laughs but, about halfway through, they realize their lives are in danger.

Who's in it? The movie stars Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Shazi Raja and Schuyler Helford.

Review: I was a bit surprised to get this DVD through Netflix because I didn't even realize it was on my movie list. I'm not saying it wasn't. I just don't remember adding this film. And, because of that, I did find myself having some doubts about this movie.

As it turns out, the movie was better than I was expecting it to be. Well, more specifically, the first three-quarters of the film were better than expected.

At least in the beginning, the movie has a lot going for it. The plot is relatively believable with the friends learning about the open house via a flyer, being asked to sign a waiver and surrender their cell phones - things that wouldn't set off any red flags when visiting a regular haunted house.

The haunted house itself was also fairly decent. It was genuinely creepy to the point you couldn't tell when something bad might happen to one of the friends. At the same time, it didn't cross any lines as far as realism is concerned. This, in turn, made it easy to question (at least at first) whether their lives were really in danger or if it was all part of the show.

Unfortunately, the movie does eventually lose some steam when it reveals who is behind the haunted house and why. That part of the film is a bit farfetched and, frankly, kind of bland, especially since none of the bad guys seemed to have any sort of depth. 

As I told my wife, this movie desperately needed some sort of twist. For example, I would have loved to have seen one of the friends turn out to be the main bad guy and have it all be some sort of elaborate revenge plot. However, that did not turn out to be the case and, as a result of that, the last 10-15 minutes of the film were kind of predictable and dull.

Final Opinion: Had the writers put a little more effort into bad guys and their reason for running a deadly haunted house, this would have been a great horror flick. Sadly, the lack of attention to that detail ultimately makes this not much more than an average film.

My Grade: C+


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