Friday, February 7, 2014

Haunter (Blu-ray Review) - IFC

Directed By: Vincenzo Natali
Written By: Brian King
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden
Color/97 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
Abigail Breslin stars as Lisa, a high school aged girl who lives with her very average family in 1985. Lisa becomes aware that she and her family are dead and living out the same routine day after day. Lisa grows tired of the monotonous afterlife until she realizes she has a bigger purpose- To protect the current occupants from facing the same fate that has plagued this house for decades. 

HAUNTER is sort of a reversal on the typical haunted house. Our main character is dead from the start and dealing with the fact she contacts the living to protect them from the horrors that live within the walls of the house she once actually lived in. It isn't difficult to see where the story is going and the repetition of Lisa's family gets a bit tedious. The horror elements of the film are tame and stripped down to the point where I felt like this was an elongated episode of the 90s Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid Of The Dark?. 

The cast was pretty good, lead by Breslin. Somehow this movie avoided terrible amounts of hammed up over acting. The special effects made up for it with corny CGI overlays and jerky movements. The film managed to create a bit of creepy atmosphere outside of the house but overall HAUNTER plays out rather plainly and feels like there was potential for something better in an otherwise uninteresting affair. 

The Audio & Video
IFC gives HAUNTER a spiffy Blu-ray presentation. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation has strong detail, from fabrics to the face of a clock or the cover of a book. Skin tones are natural, and colors look strong, from brighter tones to eery washed out grays. There is no noticeable edge enhancement or excessive DNR. The DTS HD 5.1 audio track is powerful. The various clings, clangs and bangs around the house are boisterous and the mix is well done with the proper amount of dialogue and music encompassing the track. 

The Extras
Special features include:

-Commentary track with the director
-Commentary track with the writer
-Behind the scenes featurette
-HAUNTER: The Complete Storyboards with Vincenzo Natali

The Bottom Line
HAUNTER was a toned down version of a film I'd be interested in watching. Everything about it seemed like an edited version of a more powerful film.

HAUNTER is available HERE

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