Lisa Johnson has a problem. She wakes up every day and relives the same routine over and over. Her parents & younger brother do & say the same things. She can’t seem to leave her house, which is surrounded by a mysterious fog. And her family doesn't realize that they're stuck in a continuous loop. Time goes on, and Lisa realizes she & her family are ghosts and that there is another family living in their former home. That’s only the beginning of the story in director Vincenzo Natali’s clever thriller, Haunter (2013). As Lisa tries to solve the mystery of her family’s deaths, she realizes there is also an evil force in the house, and that it wants to destroy the family that’s currently living there. And Lisa’s family may not have been the first victims of this evil force; can she warn the current occupants of the house and stop the cycle of violence & death?
The film offers a fun twist on the usual haunted house tale, as it’s told from the ghost’s perspective. Abigail (Little Miss Sunshine) Breslin gives a good performance as Lisa, and veteran character actor Stephen McHattie is creepily effective as the murderous spirit haunting the house. It’s an atmospheric, suspenseful and relatively gore-free terror tale. The film takes time to build its premise and tell the story, and should appeal to old school genre fans. If you're sick of the current cycle of slasher flicks and the overabundance of "found footage" horror films, Haunter offers a refreshing alternative. Director Natali also helmed Cube (1997) and the 2009 horror film Splice. The movie was written by Brian King, and has an eerie look courtesy of cinematographer Jon Joffin. Haunter is available on Blu-ray, DVD and for online streaming. Here’s a link to the film’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sClAdBHrZNg.