"Every ghost story begins with a house and a tragedy," narrates Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver as pediatrician Janet Morello at the beginning of IFC's slim shocker "Haunt."
And so it does, also reminding viewers that a haunt is "a feeding place for animals." Brooding teen Evan (Harrison Gilbertson) and his family move into a remote, snow-covered, "Amityville Horror"-looking fixer-upper despite feeling uneasy, and ignoring the creepy portrait in the closet and the dentist's chair in the shadowy basement. They also dismiss youngest daughter Anita (Ella Harris) talking to her dolls and skulking about in the place where Dr. Morello lost her husband and her own three children.
Abused teen neighbor Samantha (Liana Liberato) starts hanging around Evan as his parents (Ione Skye as Emily and Brian Wimmer as Alan) take their eldest Sara (Danielle Chuchran) away to look at colleges. The young lovers begin to dabble with a ghost ham radio in an annex off of Evan's attic room, an EMF that channels the family members who previously perished in the house. Guess what the kids don't heed.
The 85-minute story has its scary moments, but not enough happens to maintain the horror, except for the reminder that "death is the house we all finally go to."
Video special features include commentary with director Mac Carter, cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes, makeup effects, and Morello Case File Videos and Home Movies.