The horror movies, which takes place in amusement parks of horror, threatens to become a true movie sub genre, as almost every season a representative emerges who manages to get the attention of the viewing public. So it is also with “Haunt”, and if he fails to get you interested with topic and location, there are other trump cards, such as an eminent producer (Eli Roth) or two hit writers (Scott Beck and Bryan Woods). But did all of this result in a quality horror movie, or are all of these names listed solely to attract viewers?
At the beginning of the film, we see in the introduction a mysterious masked person who is thoroughly preparing himself for his bloody feast preparing numerous traps. Then the story moves to Illinois, where we look at the evening before Halloween and even feel a bit of the legendary atmosphere of Halloween. Unfortunately, this autumn’s gloomy atmosphere, which is enriched by breeze, yellow leaves, candles and pumpkins, disappears very quickly and does not appear until the end of the movie for the simple reason that “Haunt” further happens mostly indoors. At first in the house of our main character who has emotional problems, then in a nightclub and finally in a horror park, where most of the action takes place. The main character is a teenager named Harper (Katie Stevens), a pretty ordinary girl, so a girl like our sister, girlfriend or neighbor might be, which is always welcome in a horror movie.
During Halloween, amusement parks of terror and horror are full of kids and adults. In “Haunt” we see something completely different: the amusement park is completely dark and it remains unknown why it does not attract visitors. Still, the kids get into the park although although there are no visitors while Halloween is in full swing. Doubtful, despite the motto “Halloween is, it’s weirdly good.” Even more unbelievably, kids at the entrance pretty easily hand out cell phones with whom they could perpetuate the”fake” selfie-style horror.
As usual, the kids here do not at first doubt the purpose of the amusement park, they think that the mask persons are only well-trained actors, and when they come to the dreaded realization that mask actors are not actors but actually injure and kill visitors it’s already late. The survival game begins and in the maze of corridors, passageways and rooms they cannot find a well hidden exit. As they roam the horror chambers full of creepy and murderous elements, the kids get killed and hurt in the most brutal ways.
It is a bit clichéd to have a very fast separation of characters, though it should be said that the whole park is designed to simply make the separation, of course, because of the murderous intentions of its employers. The killings, despite the signature of Eli Roth, are not explicit enough so that the brutalities seen can literally be enumerated on the fingers of one hand. Everything else happens off-screen, which may be satisfying for some average horror attempt, but not for an accomplishment that proudly features Roth’s name on the cover.
The main horror here comes from the actors of the massacre, a masked groups that is even more creepy when it takes off its masks. “Do you still want to see my face,” one of them tells the student. When the masks are removed, we find that underneath them are facially deformed Hellraiser – like maniacs whose real identity is not even known, as in “Hell Fest”.
Visually, the film is inferior to “Hell Fest”, not only because it has noticeably fewer extras, but also because much of the film does not happen in the “commercial” part of the amusement park but behind its scenes. These are not visually the most attractive places, but certainly have a favorable effect on the film budget. The cheapness is also evident with the flashbacks experienced by our protagonist, but also with some supporting characters.
Maybe will “Haunt” likes it to someone who like to watching masked killers to chase and kill for no apparent reason. There are a few interesting points, such as the insertion of escape room elements, but the final product is quite thin, especially given the names featured on the cover.