Havenhurst

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Havenhurst
Directed by Andrew C. Erin
Produced by Andrew C. Erin
Mark Burg
Written by Andrew C. Erin
Daniel Farrands
Starring Julie Benz
Fionnula Flanagan
Danielle Harris
Music by tomandandy
Cinematography Thomas Hencz
Edited by Todd Zelin
Production
company
Distributed by Brainstorm Media
Release date
  • May 14, 2016 (2016-05-14) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • February 10, 2017 (2017-02-10)
Running time
80 minutes

Havenhurst is a 2016 American horror film directed by Andrew C. Erin and starring Julie Benz.

Plot[edit]

Jackie is a recovering alcoholic moving into Havenhurst, an old, gothic apartment complex in New York City run by Eleanor Mudgett and her son Ezra, who also serves as the building's maintenance man. Jackie is warned that she must remain sober while living in Havenhurst or she will be swiftly evicted.

Jackie begins looking for evidence about a previous Havenhurst tenant and personal friend, Danielle, unaware that she was brutally murdered along with her addict boyfriend Jason shortly after receiving an eviction notice. She also meets some of the building's residents, notably a young teen named Sarah, who lives with her foster parents Tammy, a waitress who works nights, and Wayne, an abusive alcoholic. Some time after moving in, Jackie hears a neighbor, Paula, murdered because she returned to prostitution, Jackie reports the incident to a detective friend, Tim Crawford.

Jackie discovers an incomplete map that Danielle created before her death. The map shows that the building is far larger than it appears, as it has several secret rooms. Sarah, meanwhile, gives Jackie Danielle's camera, which contains film that Jackie develops.

Later, Sarah is attacked by Wayne, who is abducted by Eleanor's other son Jed. Jed turns out to be a serial killer that has been using the secret rooms to hide himself and his crimes, as he has been murdering people who have been served eviction notices. Tammy then becomes one of Jed's victims, as she and Wayne had been evicted. After discovering their apartment covered in blood, Jackie tries to show Tim the apartment in order to prove that something bad is happening, only for it to have been cleaned prior to his arrival.

After Tim leaves, Jackie decides to start drinking in order to receive an eviction notice and discover the building's secrets.

Jackie and Sarah, who is now staying with her, go to the laundry room and discover a secret passage that leads to a room containing records showing that Eleanor and her children are descendants of serial killer H. H. Holmes and have inherited his murderous disposition. They soon find, however, that they have been discovered by the murderous family and are chased throughout the building, unable to leave. Jackie manages to call Tim in the hopes of summoning help, but in the midst of this, Sarah is captured. Jackie manages to rescue Sarah and help her escape the building, but is captured and presumably murdered in her efforts.

Shortly thereafter, Tim arrives with several police officers but is unable to do anything as there is no remaining visible evidence that the disappearances are sinister in nature, thus leaving unsatisfied.

Once he and the others are gone, Eleanor speaks to Sarah and convinces her to join her family (with all that entails), and Sarah agrees.

Cast[edit]

Development[edit]

Havenhurst was filmed from 28 April 2014 - 31 May 2014.[1] The first trailer was released on February 24, 2016.[2]

The name "Havenhurst" was chosen because of it features two uses of the letter H, similar to H.H. Holmes, who is featured in the film. Two days of filming occurred in New York City, with the rest taking place in Los Angeles. Buildings in New York's Tudor City were used as the Havenhurst exterior. The film's practical effects were created by the companies VGP Effects and Crafty Apes.[3]

On December 16, 2016, it was confirmed that the film would open in limited release across New York City and Los Angeles on February 10, 2017.[4]

Release[edit]

The film was screened at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.[5]

Reception[edit]

The film drew mixed reviews. Variety awarded Havenhurst a marginally positive review, saying "a decent cast, brisk pace and proficient overall packaging make Havenhurst a respectable enough diversion within a niche."[6] Dread Central awarded it a score of 7 out of 10, saying "the location, complimented by spooky cinematography (Thomas Hencz) and a score (tomandandy) that sizzles with suspense, is what really sells it."[7]

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Kimberly Byers gave the film a mostly negative review, stating "Havenhurst never has as much fun with its premise as it should, and it peaks before its final scenes. A reveal about the nature of the building and its violence works initially, but is never fully explored," and added, " There are some truly disgusting kills."[8] That sentiment was echoed by Frank Scheck in The Hollywood Reporter, who dismissed the film as "Low-rent horror in a high-rent setting," and added, "The film’s technical elements are first-rate, including the production design and cinematography that evocatively convey the creepiness of the setting, and the tense musical score by the veteran film-scoring duo known as tomandandy. But despite the strong efforts of everyone involved, Havenhurst proves all too unimaginative in its formulaic recycling of genre tropes."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Box office/business for Havenhurst". IMDb. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Barton, Steve (February 24, 2016). "Haunting New Havenhurst Trailer". Dread Central. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Gelmini, David (February 9, 2017). "Exclusive: Andrew C. Erin Talks Havenhurst". Dread Central. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  4. ^ Alexander, Chris. "Julie Benz and Danielle Harris Thriller Havenhurst Locks Release Date". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Kay, Jeremy. "CMG heads to EFM with 'Havenhurst', 'The Possession Experiment'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Harvey, Dennis (February 3, 2017). "Film Review: 'Havenhurst'". Variety. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Staci Layne (February 8, 2017). ""Havenhurst (2017)"". Dread Central. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  8. ^ Byers, Kimberly (February 9, 2017). "Bloody 'Havenhurst' unlikely to win over any converts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ Scheck, Frank (February 11, 2017). "'Havenhurst': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 18, 2017. 

External links[edit]