Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Haunting of Molly Hartley - Review - @BrandonCSites

The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008) **
D: Mickey Liddell
C: Haley Bennett, Chace Crawford, AnnaLynne McCord, Jake Weber, Nina Siemaszko, Marin Hinkle, Shannon Marie Woodward, Jessica Lowndes 

Plot Synopsis: A teenage girl discovers that her parents sold her soul to the Devil when she turns 18. With her 18th birthday right around the corner, she tries to figure out some way to reverse what's happened. 

Review: The Haunting of Molly Hartley is one of those films that takes a thought provoking premise and dumbs it down in order to appeal to a teenage audience complete with artwork that features teen hunk Chace Crawford front & center. 

The entire plot is announced loud and clear within the first five minutes. Since we know what's going to happen from the onset, we (the audience) feel locked in. There's nothing to do, but wait as the movie goes through the motions. We watch Molly (Bennett) adjust to life at a new school. We watch Molly as she finds herself in a budding romance with the school jock (Crawford). We watch as Molly gets in a cat fight with the other girls at school as a result of this budding romance. And we watch as Molly's mom (Hinkle) runs around in the background, trying to kill her own daughter while whispering that the Devil is coming to claim Molly's soul. Watching the film, I thought maybe they would throw in some unexpected plot twist to shake things up. That never happened. 

For the teenage girls watching this, there's a lot of flirtatious banter between Haley Bennett and Chace Crawford. Teen girls will gush about how cute Chace Crawford is. During the suspense moments, teen girls will clinch onto the arms of their boyfriends (or girlfriends). Afterwards, everyone will have a good laugh. Others will be bored. As a horror movie veteran, I should have been frustrated with the overly simplified plotting and juvenile antics. Yet, for some reason, I wasn't. I guess I'm still young enough to remember what it's like to go to the movies, on a Friday night, with your friends to see a scary movie. 

Back in my teen years, Scream Scream 2 were the horror films of choice at the local multiplex. Scream and Scream 2 not only delivered in a popcorn entertainment way, but asked you to use your brain a little bit. Those films trusted that teens were smarter then what adults give them credit for. The Haunting of Molly Hartley, on the other hand, thinks teens are just as dumb as adults think they are. [PG-13] 85 mins.

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