Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vincenzo Natali|
|Produced by||Steven Hoban|
|Written by||Brian King|
|Music by||Alex Khaskin|
|Edited by||Michael Doherty|
|Running time||97 minutes|
Haunter is a 2013 Canadian Supernatural horror thriller film, directed by Vincenzo Natali, starring Abigail Breslin. It was produced by Copperheart Entertainment and written by Brian King. The film premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival, and was picked up for U.S. distribution there by IFC Midnight.
Lisa Johnson, the ghost of a teenage girl who becomes aware that she is dead, haunts a house somewhere in northern Illinois. She is stuck on the same day she and her family were murdered in 1985, along with her parents and her brother, who are unaware that they are dead. Using personal items from other people killed in the house, Lisa makes a connection with Olivia, part of a family living in the house in the future who will become the next set of victims.
With the help of Olivia and the spirits of other girls who were murder victims, Lisa is transported into the timelines of other victims and unravels the mystery of the house. She causes her family to come to terms with the knowledge that they are dead, and thus "awakened" they become able to assist her. After her family escapes to the afterlife, Lisa stays behind to stop the murderous evil spirit who haunts the house. With help from the evil spirit's family (the original victims of the house), Lisa overcomes him and rescues another family from suffering the same fate. Thus breaking the cycle of possessions and murder-suicides, Lisa awakes, no longer reliving the same day.
- Abigail Breslin as Lisa Johnson
- Peter Outerbridge as Bruce Johnson
- Michelle Nolden as Carol Johnson
- Peter DaCunha as Robert "Robbie" Johnson
- Samantha Weinstein as Frances Nichols
- David Hewlett as David
- Sarah Manninen as Olivia's Mother
- Eleanor Zichy as Olivia
- Martine Campbell as Olivia's Sister
- Stephen McHattie as Edgar Mullins
- David Knoll as Young Edgar
- Marie Dame as Mrs. Mullins
- Tadhg McMahon as Mr. Mullins
- Michelle Coburn as Mary Brooks
Haunter was filmed at Toronto and Brantford Ontario Canada. Production took 25 days. Natali said that he was drawn to the film because, unlike Splice, which took twelve years to complete, Haunter only needed to be shot.
Haunter premiered at South by Southwest film festival on March 9, 2013, and received a limited US theatrical release on October 18, 2013. It was released on home video on February 11, 2014, and made $129,447 on domestic video sales.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 53% of 32 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.3/10. Metacritic rated it 49 out 100. Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star rated it 2/4 stars and called the script "ill-focused and juvenile". Joe Leydon of Variety called it "a modestly inventive variation on genre conventions". John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film is "sufficiently novel to uphold [Natali's] reputation as a filmmaker not content telling conventional fanboy stories." Nicholas Rapold of The New York Times wrote, "the film's frazzled thought experiment becomes an adequate yarn." Annlee Ellingson of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Natali "brings cool visuals and a punk attitude to Brian King's cleverly layered script." Josh Modell of The A.V. Club rated it C and wrote, "The occasionally intriguing, but ultimately middling Haunter is caught in some kind of gauzy haunted-house purgatory between a girl-powered YA story and a ghostly serial-killer mystery." Nav Qateel of Influx Magazine rated it B and called it "better than it perhaps should have been".
- Punter, Jennie (March 11, 2013). "SXSW 2013: Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter bows at midnight". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Olsen, Mark (March 12, 2013). "SXSW 2013: 'Short Term 12' wins feature prize". Los Angeles Times.
- Barnard, Lisa (December 19, 2013). "Canadian horror Haunter stars Abigail Breslin: review". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Cairns, Brian (March 4, 2013). "Exclusive: Vincenzo Natali On His ‘Reverse Ghost Story’ Haunter". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Miska, Brad (July 29, 2013). "Exclusive 'Haunter' Poster Is Like Trapping Lightning In A Bottle!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Barton, Steve (January 23, 2014). "Haunter Going Bump in the Night on DVD and Blu-ray". Dread Central. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "Haunter". The Numbers. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "Haunter (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- "Haunter". Metacritic. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Leydon, Joe (March 21, 2013). "Film Review: 'Haunter'". Variety. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- DeFore, John (March 12, 2013). "Haunter: SXSW Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Rapold, Nicolas (October 17, 2013). "A Day in the Life of a Ghost". The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Ellingson, Annlee (October 24, 2013). "Review: 'Haunter' hauntingly pierces layers of reality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Modell, Josh (October 17, 2014). "Haunter". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
- Qateel, Nav (October 18, 2013). "Haunter (Review) 'An Entertaining Retro Haunter'". Influx Magazine. Retrieved July 26, 2014.