The new ghost horror film "Haunter" succeeds in two ways: It doesn’t have unnecessary violence and gore, and the typical elements of a ghost story happen in reverse here. Abigail Breslin’s ("Zombieland") performance doesn’t hurt either, and she carries most of the film while she mostly acts alone.
Think of "Haunter" as the horror answer to "Groundhog Day."
It’s 1986 and Lisa (Breslin) wakes up every day to the same events over and over again: It’s the day before her 16th birthday. Her Mom wants to make plans for the big day, and tells Lisa to do the laundry. By about the 5th time this happens in "Haunter," you’ll want to give up on the movie --but don’t. Around the 30-minute mark, Lisa comes to the realization that she is actually a ghost and is stuck in limbo in the house her and her family died in.
Lisa then tries to help a living girl, Olivia, escape from the clutches of a serial killer.
Director Vincenzo Natali knows a thing or two about working in a claustrophobic setting, having directed "Splice" and the underrated "Cube." The claustrophobia works well in "Haunter," and the film’s visuals on Blu-ray make this a stellar ghost film.
Only a handful of features appear on the Blu-ray: The standout feature is the behind the scenes documentary, mostly featuring interviews with Breslin and Natali. The 55-minute "Haunter: The Complete Storyboards" wears out its welcome after a while, as interesting as it is. But Natali’s audio commentary is worth a listen after viewing this suspenseful and recommended movie.