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Haunt (2019)

We have seen this plot used in countless films before, a creepy haunted attraction used as a set location that turns out to be not quite as it seems. That being said, I think this one does it the best out of them all. This is a film I found my self constantly entertained by throughout, even given how slightly predictable the plot was (to the point where I could guess who was going to die and which order they were going to go out). There are a few writing issues that I could have personally seen removed in order to give this a much smoother run. For instance, the sub-plot with Harper's abusive father seems rather pointless to me and would have no impact on the plot if it was removed altogether. Same goes for her boyfriend Sam, as we spend the full film expecting his arrival to serve some sort of purpose only for him to be killed instantIy. I know these are used for the purpose of character building for Harper but it just felt unnecessary. Considering how predictable I found the main direction, the twist towards the end with her friend was genuinely unexpected and was so cleverly done. It's moments like this and a few others (including the witch and the reveal of the people behind the mask) that prevents this film from feeling stagnant and the same as everything else that explores a similar premise. I also really appreciated the ending, it felt very final and close ended. In today's world full of cinematic universe's, sequels and spin-offs it was satisfying to have definite conclusion to the story. The casting is surprisingly great considering everyone involved seems relatively unknown, Harper played by Katie Stevens and Nathan played by Will Brittain being the standout of the group. I was unsure about Evan played by Andrew Lewis Caldwell at first but as the film progressed I was really drawn to his character. He starts out as the annoying arrogant member of the group but I think he has the biggest character growth of all, becoming the most logical one in this situation and delivering some very funny lines. The costumes for the attraction worker really stood out to me, the masks being simple yet very affective. However, it is more what is hiding under the mask that is truly haunting. The prosthetics used are really incredible, to the point where I believed this was genuine body modification. I had to Google search the cast and actors who played these roles just to check whether they had hired body modified actors or not, that's how convincing I found this. I think of the group I found Mitch the ghost to be my favourite, I'm not sure if this was due to him receiving more screen time than the rest or if I just felt he was a much stronger character. I remember how much I was impressed by this film upon my first watch and even now multiple watches later I still think it holds up. It is the perfect Halloween season watch, one that has become an annual viewing for me. It's certainly not without its flaws but a strong recommendation from me nonetheless.


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