IFC Midnight (a division of IFC Films) and its partner MPI Media Group will release their latest paranormal thriller next week. Haunter will be released on Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, February 11th. The movie, starring Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Ender’s Game) is quite a surprise for anyone that is a fan of movies in the paranormal genre. It’s a surprise first and foremost because as audiences will discover of the movie, it is not so much a horror movie as it is a thriller of sorts. It could even be argued to be a mystery,too. By direct connection, the script behind the story makes it the thriller that it is. That is another element of this piece that makes it well worth the watch. One more factor to be taken into consideration with Haunter is its pacing. The story’s pacing is factor that audiences will appreciate about it. Its run time barely tops the ninety-minute mark. But even with that relatively short run time, it doesn’t move too fast or too slow at any one given point. It gets right to the point, instead of wasting unnecessary time building backstory or any unnecessary elements. That factor is among the most important. And along with the other mentioned factors, it makes Haunter a movie that any fan of the paranormal genre a must see.
The very first thing that viewers will notice about Haunter is that it is more paranormal thriller than a horror story per se. One could even argue to a point that it is a paranormal mystery movie because Lisa (Breslin) is left to figure out the mystery of what is happening with her family and what happened to them for that matter. It leads to an even bigger mystery that will be left for viewers to find out for themselves. The trail that Lisa follows will have viewers literally on the edge of their seat, trying to figure out the mystery with her. It’s nice to see that this movie is so easily able to walk that line of paranormal and mystery, all while keeping the blood and gore to a minimum. This is just the first aspect of Haunter that makes it so enjoyable for any fan of the paranormal genre. By direct connection, script writer Brian King’s script for this movie is just as impressive.
Writer Brian King’s script for Haunter is an important piece of the whole that makes the indie-paranormal thriller so enjoyable. King’s script combines elements of The Lovely Bones and The Others to bring this story to life. On the surface, the fact that he has combined those movies’ elements seems like a bad thing. But in combining them, he was able to craft a wholly new story that turns the paranormal genre on its ear. It is essentially a battle of good and bad that takes place in the spirit realm. He throws in just enough twists and turns throughout the script to keep audiences engaged, but not confused. The catch is that in order to not be confused, audiences must be completely engaged in the movie, and not otherwise distracted by anything. Anyone that allows themselves to become distracted will become distracted and in turn, confused. This will lead to less appreciation for King’s script. It goes to show how well King balanced all of his script’s elements and eventually developed this impressive final product.
King’s script is definitely impressive, even having used elements of at least two other paranormal thrillers. He was able to craft a balanced script that keeps viewers engaged straight to its end. The script’s balance of elements is just part of what makes it a success. Along with that balance, King is to be applauded for his script’s pacing. He wastes no time getting right to the story. It launches right from its outset. There’s no overloaded backstory slowing things down. And the twists and turns peppered throughout the story are placed at just the right points so as to not overwhelm viewers. The same can be said of Lisa’s transitions between the spirit world and the human world as she tries to solve the mystery that she uncovers. He sets the pacing so well that as with the writing, it requires audiences to engage themselves entirely in the story, and not let themselves be distracted by anything else. THAT is the truest sign of this story’s success. It requires audiences to pay attention. Few movies do that today, either indie or mainstream. And those that do pay full attention will agree that it is a paranormal thriller that is just as enjoyable–if not more so–than any major mainstream movie in the paranormal genre. It will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, February 11th.
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