Starring: Haley Bennett, Jake Weber, Chace Crawford, Shannon Marie Woodward, and Shanna Collins.
Run Time: 1 hr 27 mins
This weekend I decided to go out to see The Haunting of Molly Hartley. I didn’t know much about this movie going in, I hadn’t seen a trailer or a clip at all. But I love ghost stories, so I thought this would be a film I would enjoy. I’ve yet to see a ghost movie that didn’t have at least a little entertainment value, so how could I go wrong? And I should mention, I usually try to avoid reviews from critics before I see a movie. I disagree with most critics, so I never look up a movie before I go to see it. Now that I have seen The Haunting of Molly Hartley, I absolutely will start doing a little research before going to the theater.
Where do I begin? Well, let me give you a quick rundown of the film. The movie was described as a woman moving to a new town, and starting in a new school, in an effort to try to escape her haunting past. Well, while it’s not described well in the beginning, we come to learn that Molly was attacked by her mother one day after school. She was stabbed in the chest with a pair of scissors. The mother was institutionalized and the father moved her to a new town to help her get a fresh start. But as her 18th birthday rapidly approaches, strange things start to happen. What really happened when Molly was born almost 18 years ago. Does Molly’s soul really belong to the Devil? There you go. Got it? Don’t worry, I saw the movie, stayed for the whole thing, and I still don’t get it.
It all boils down to this. I liked this movie better the first time I saw it. When it was called Rosemary’s Baby. I saw haunting, and thought ghosts. I’m not the only one, the people I went to the theater with saw trailers, and thought it was a ghost story as well. But it was not. It was more of, The disturbing past of Molly Hartley. Or the Demonic origins of Molly Hartley. Not Haunting! There was not a single ghost in the whole thing. I wouldn’t even classify this as a horror movie. It wasn’t scary at all. This movie was riddled with cliche’s. They tried to scare you with “the loud whispers” and “did I just see that out of the corner of my eye.” My personal favorite? “Oh my God, that’s so scary. What’s going on? Oh it’s just a bad dream.” There is nothing original here.
This movie left me full of questions. In fact, the first thing I did as the credits started rolling, was look over at a friend, shrug and say “huh?” She didn’t know either. I would have loved to be in that meeting, where they discussed the filming of the movie. “How are we going to show the audience the reason for the whole town being part of the demonic cult?” says the director. “Oh, don’t worry. They don’t need to know about that. In fact, you know what? Don’t worry about explaining anything. They’ll figure it out. It’s gonna be great!” I’m still trying to figure out how the people of the town all seemed to know about this.
There was one part I enjoyed, even though it left me with more questions. At a party being hosted by Molly’s love interest in the film, Molly was confronted by the guy’s girlfriend. She was mocking Molly, and went at her. Molly all of a sudden bust out with some very “ninja-esque” moves. Molley grabbed her attacker’s finger as she ducked away, and snapped it quickly. She then quickly transitioned into a hold on her arm and just snapped it as she threw her to the ground. Now Molly is a black belt? I don’t get how she went from being so docile to ninja warrior in about 2 seconds. It was both hilarious and confusing.
In the end, some questions were answered. It was made clear that Molly’s parents made a deal with the Devil for Molly’s soul on the day she was born. And upon her birthday, she would become… Don’t know. Something bad? An agent of evil? That wasn’t very clear. And in the climax, as Molly was confronted by whom I can only assume is the Devil, it was made clear that it was too late. Molly had become property of the Devil, and she couldn’t die. She sure tried, stabbing herself several times but to no avail. That faded to black and then boom! We show the school’s graduation ceremony, and Molly is the Valedictorian? She gives a speech, with a weird look on her face. I assume the actress was trying to show she was now evil. Molly and the love interest climb into a limo together. Fade to black. Then it shows Molly in a hospital. Her father is in a straight-jacket, and Molly is being told that he is going insane. He needs her, maybe he could regain some sanity. Molly (dressed in all black, which means she’s evil you know!) says that she’s moved on. Evil smile. The end. Huh?
This movie tries to be Rosemary’s Baby. But it misses on everything it tries to do. You can’t classify it as horror, it’s not scary. Can’t classify it as a thriller, it’s not thrilling, and it’s not compelling. There really is nothing to this movie. Just another bland, ho hum, not scary horror movie. It’s sad, because I am always saying I want Hollywood to start coming up with some original movies, and when they try, it turns out to be a wannabe Rosemary’s Baby. It makes me yurn for more horror re-makes. Please avoid this movie at all costs. I would rather watch paint dry than watch this again. Hopefully this review will save some of you from the pain of having to see this “movie.”