Scott Beck and Bryan Wood’s Haunt utilises a lot of common horror tropes, all tried and tested, but then frustratingly doesn’t seem to do anything particularly new or exciting with them.

Whilst the set up to Haunt is done fairly well, the characters are stereotypical and mostly shallow (which is a huge problem when you are supposed to care about them being imperilled): A collective of college students go out in search of a haunted house experience to end their halloween drinking session in style. With most of the requisite horror character tropes in play, they conform to their roles well without subverting or extending what they inevitably end up doing.

This haunted house experience, they slowly realise, isn’t there for their entertainment value but for something more sinister. And while there are a few effective shocks and moments of gore and violence the obvious attempt to hit every single phobia that there is (arachnophobia, claustrophobia, etc) ends up feeling too forced or that it is trying too hard to pander to the lowest common denominator.

For all this though it is a perfectly serviceable horror film. It is really well made, it looks very polished and the performances from all the main characters are perfectly apt and the effects are generally great. But with no building tension or real fear (or being given an actual connection to any of the participants) Haunt ends up feeling lacklustre in its efforts and meanders a bit towards the end. With elements of Saw and Kill List utilised, but again not expanded upon or used in a different way, it ends up feeling fairly generic and, strangely for a horror film, quite a long feeling 92 minute runtime.



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