The Ghosts of Previous Horror Movies
When the Asher family move in to an impressive home in the country they learn that the home has a gruesome history as the previous owners, the Morello family, died there with doctor Janet Morello (Jacki Weaver) being the only survivor. But that doesn't put them off and despite being quite shy the Asher's teenage son Evan (Harrison Gilbertson) is soon making friends with Sam (Liana Liberato), the girl who lives next door and is suffering with abuse from her violent father. It is Evan and Sam who discover a radio like apparatus which allows them to communicate with those who are deceased but what they don't realise is that this device has opened a gateway to an evil force which is going to torment them.
In my days growing up in the 80s a movie like "Haunt" would have featured a couple of teenagers messing about with a Ouija board they found in a cupboard in their new home and then having to deal with the evil which they had unwittingly released which was making their lives a paranoid hell. But times have changed and the whole Ouija board thing has been done to death so instead "Haunt" features a different mysterious gadget to unleash evil in to the world as in this old looking radio with valves which glow.
What this really means is that for me "Haunt" comes down to two things; the characters and the effectiveness of the horror. Now despite some familiar names such as Jacki Weaver, Ione Skye and Danielle Chuchran the characters in this are completely forgettable because they are so non-descript. But the moments of horror are just as non-descript and whilst none of the horror scenes are poor they never amount to anything you won't have seen before. And that makes "Haunt" a movie which to be frank constantly struggles to gain and keep your interest as the end is as predictable and non-descript as everything else in this movie.
What this all boils down to is "Haunt" is not a bad movie it is just one of those horror movie which takes ideas which have been explored countless times before and repackages them with a couple of new ideas and a current cast making it the sort of movie which might work best for those who are not yet horror buffs.