Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"The Haunting Of Molly Hartley"

Although I love the made-for-TV domestic/stranger-from-hell thriller, I'm not overly fond of the made-for-TV supernatural/ghost-story thriller. "The Haunting Of Molly Hartley" - which doesn't actually involve any haunting - plays a lot like something you might expect to see on cable TV. I've already been disappointed by such fare as "Devil's Diary" and "Deadly Pledge", and this flick, which was released theatrically in America, barely rises above the level of those two movies.

The plot has Molly (Haley Bennett) rapidly approaching her 18th birthday. She's experiencing nosebleeds, panic attacks and weird visions. Perhaps understandable, since she recently survived being stabbed in the chest with a pair of scissors by her own mother. Her mother, now locked up in an asylum, was of the belief she was trying to save her daughter from a terrible legacy. One that would come to fruition on....oh my God....her 18th birthday!

Kind of like "The Uninvited", this one covers up the fact that absolutely NOTHING is happening by throwing in plenty of Molly's aforementioned nosebleeds, panic attacks and weird visions. There's about five in the first twenty minutes. Add to that plenty of false scares - a few of which admittedly got me. And that's what's so annoying about this uninspired hack job. Director Mickey Liddell clearly knows how to set up his shock scenes. If he actually had a script to go along with his budding directorial talent, there could be a decent movie to be found. Unfortunately, what we're left with here (after a pretty decent prologue) is a series of boo scares leading up to an amazingly flat, "who cares" finale. It's like everybody involved didn't care how it ended either.

"The Haunting Of Molly Hartley" looks good, moves along quickly, has a solid cast, and certainly isn't boring. But it is one of the emptiest so-called thrillers I've come across in a long time. Wait until it comes to television - where it truly belongs.

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