The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • Andrew CaldwellDamian Maffei...
  • HorrorThriller
  • Bryan WoodsScott Beck
reviewed by
Yasmeen Mamdouh
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Haunt: A New Take on a Cliché Plotline

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When it comes to nightmares, we believe that what scares us the most is not knowing whether their incidents are real life or just a dream. Just like a nightmare, Haunt’s “extreme” haunted house makes the characters wonder whether their worst nightmares have come to life, or is it all a show.

Haunt follows college student Harper (Katie Stevens), who reluctantly agrees to go out on Halloween with her best friend Bailey (Lauryn McClain) and two of their housemates, to distract herself from her angry alcoholic, abusive boyfriend. Due to Harper’s worries that her boyfriend may be following her, the group ends up on a dark deserted road, where they find an extreme haunted house. After they gladly give up their phones and sign waiver forms, a creepy silent clown leads them inside. As the scares escalate, with some of them getting hurt and others go missing, they start to question whether the haunted house is that good.

The plot does not seem innovative, yet the film adds touches to make the formula its own, including flashbacks to Harper’s past, as well as keeping the motives of those in the haunted house a mystery, and avoids the cliché atmosphere.

One of the feature’s true heroes is the creative set that includes everything from crawl in mazes, dangling knives, cobwebs, a child’s room, and more. The other hero is the cinematography, in which the lighting contributed to making the film scary.

When it comes to being scary, the film does deliver; not just in the form of the traditional empty jump scares, but also with silence, atmosphere, and a real sense of creepiness. The film also does not rely much on gore and blood, even in the most violent scenes, which elevates it from a movie that is merely fishing for screams. 

For the acting, Katie Stevens’s performance was somewhat restrained, yet adequate enough for the role’s demands. Lauryn McClain and Andrew Caldwell were very plausible throughout the feature. Will Brittan was able to keep his character from becoming a total cliché, and his performance got better as the film progressed.

Haunt is meant to be scary, and it delivers, even if it does so without offering anything groundbreakingly innovative.



Like This? Try

Bloodline (2018), Crawl (2019), and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019).

360 Tip

Filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods wrote the script for Haunt while they were also writing the screenplay for A Quiet Place (2018), without the expectation that either film would ever get made.

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