A troubled young woman takes up residence in a gothic apartment building where she must confront a terrifying evil.
Horror movies, for the most part, can be neatly slotted into one of four categories that are directly determined by the amount of cold, hard cash the production received. We have our blockbuster releases like Zombieland, World War Z, Annabelle, and Prometheus; our bigger budget releases like It Follows, Drag Me To Hell, and The Hallow; our lower budget films like Bite, The Monster, Pet…and then the we get the indie films (which we love) and made-for-TV bargain bin films (Which are great if you bake) which I only lump together due to the production value and because some indie titles and bottom-barrel productions are hard to separate.
This classification system that I totally just made up and has no actual leg to stand on does not, however, determine the quality of the film. I hated WWZ but adored The Hallow. I wouldn’t watch Annabelle again for all the cocaine in Columbia but Iâ€™d watch Hideous! (1997) in a heartbeat as itâ€™s my favourite B-grade horror film. Real horror fans are fickle, snobbish and elitist, with many priding themselves on the amount of obscure films theyâ€™ve seen or the depth of the gore they can stomach.
Haventhurst slots neatly into my imaginary category system at level two; the bigger budget yet not quite a blockbuster film. Written and directed by Andrew C. Erin and starring the lovely Julie Benz, Havenhurst is a horror film that falls outside the more common genres, instead taking on the “horror hotel” subgenre like Kingâ€™s 1408 and The Shining, Hitchcock’s Psycho and perhaps even Cool Air and Dreams in the Witch House. However, Havenhurst is obviously a lot more of a modern take on the old-school plot, borrowing heavily from the successful films and TV shows of late. The most obvious similarities were the shared concepts between this film and American Horror Story: Hotel. Whilst not personally a fan of the latter, I feel the series pulled off the genre better than the former. While there were many shared details, AHS pulled off the atmosphere; Havenhurst instead got almost comical.
Comparisons aside, Havenhurst is a well produced, well-edited, typically scored and shameless reproduction of the hordes of similar films that have come before it. It is entertaining at times, but it really struggles to hold onto any sense of dread it may have briefly had. The suspense is short lived and the plot twists weren’t very twisty. By the end of the film, I found myself simply bored. Unfortunately, I can’t give quite give it three stars; two and a half at a push. Catch the trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.