March 05, 2009
Review - " The Haunting of Molly Hartley "
- (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Directed by: Mickey Liddell
Starring: Hayley Bennett, Jake Weber, Chase Crawford, Shannon Marie
I watched The Haunting of Molly Hartley because it starred the ever beautiful
and incredibly sexy Haley Bennet. Hayley captured my attention as Cora in the
2007 romantic comedy "Music and Lyrics". I must confess that M&L is my
favorite romantic comedy from that year and Bennett was eye poppingly
gorgeous with a dead on performance as the Britney Spears type pop diva. At
the time friend said to me "She's gonna be a big star, mark my words". I'm still
waiting cuz she is quite talented and Very VERY pleasent to look at.
Molly (Haley Bennett) is a 17 year old girl who has physically recovered from a
stab wound inflicted by her mother, but the psychological scars that remain run
deep. To help her begin a new life after her trauma, her father has moved her
into a new school. With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Molly is haunted
by nightmares of her mother's attack upon her while dealing with the stress of
being the new girl in school. Symptoms of psychosis that seem to be affecting
her seem to foreshadow an onset of the mental illness that took control of her
mother's life, but of several different explanations for her distress, the most
unforeseen and terrifying is revealed as the truth. Ultimately, Molly discovers
that her mother and others who share her mother's concerns want her killed in
order to save her from a preordained life as a servant of the Devil...
This film used the normal scare tactics, i.e. suspenseful building music, quick appearance on camera of people or things,
reflections in mirrors, etc., but nothing new or original. The little whispers in the background try to make you nervous, but it
leads to a dead end. Hardcore horror fanatics will feel cheated by the scarcity of blood & gore. The menacing moments
consist of birds flying out of nowhere and snarling dogs suddenly lunging up against chain-link fences. Mail plunging
through a drop slot in the door at Molly's house sounds like an avalanche. Indeed, Liddell suggests the violence more often
than shows it. You won't see any knives penetrating flesh. Several characters die, but Liddell artfully conceals the gruesome
Haley Bennett manages to carry the movie in decent fashion, avoiding becoming laughable as most PG-13 horror movie
heroines do, while Shannon Woodward was the best performer (and had the best character) in the movie as Leah.
The interesting thing is that beneath all of the confusion, there is a story. However, it is a story with an unoriginal premise: A
traumatic incident from the past sets the stage for a plethora of horrifying occurrences in the present.
Untimately "The Haunting of Molly Hartley" is a very forgettable horror film. It's a little more intelligent than the standard
slasher flick that gets produced these days but if you're looking for a good satanic fright film rent "Rosemary's Baby" or
"The Omen" (The original 1976 version not the 2006 Julia Styles remake) or better yet the horror classic "The Excorsist"
now THAT'S a horror movie!