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The Haunting of Molly Hartley - Is She Really Being Haunted?
The Haunting Of Molly Hartley (DVD)
Member Name: anonymili
The Haunting Of Molly Hartley (DVD)
Date: 24/06/12, updated on 06/08/13 (80 review reads)
Advantages: Worth a watch for fans of the horror genre
Disadvantages: Nothing overly special about the story or acting
The opening scenes show a young woman meeting her boyfriend in the woods for a surprise proposal when her father turns up and orders her into this car saying she can't get married, the girl says she's about to turn 18 so can do what she chooses but her father deliberately smashes the car stabbing her with a piece of broken glass to ensure she dies. The story jumps ahead to the life of Molly Hartley, a 17 year old who has just moved to a new town with her father. Molly is wary about starting at a new school and we discover that he mother has been institutionalised having tried to kill Molly by stabbing her in the chest. Molly's father tries to get her so visit the school counsellor with little luck initially and various students within the school try to befriend her but Molly's hearing voices and having nightmares about her mother killed her and we see flashbacks of the girl killed by her father at the start of the film. Is Molly really going mad like her mother or are there other sinister reasons for what's happening in her life?
Prior to watching The Haunting of Molly Hartley I'd not heard anything about the film, I generally avoid films of the horror genre and made sure I watched this in the daytime as horror films are an absolutely no go for me at night-time, yes, I'm a wimp!
I can't say I was overly impressed with the film, the story, the acting, the direction but it wasn't the worst film I've seen. Overall I found the acting of the main characters to be acceptable. Molly is played by Haley Bennett, an actress I've never seen before. I recognised the love interest Joseph who was played ably by pretty boy Chace Crawford of Gossip Girl fame. Shannon Marie Woodward, another face I'm unfamiliar with plays Leah, a rebellious teenager who tries to befriend Molly and Shanna Collins plays Alexis, a girl initially asked to show Molly around the school that the other kids make fun of because she's on a scholarship and is seen as a "bible basher". Jake Weber plays Molly's dad who was probably the least credible actor amongst the lot of them.
There were some scenes in the film which didn't make a lot of sense until right at the very end, such as an English teacher who hands out copies of the bible to study for the English class which Alexis objects to as it this idea seems to belittle her religious beliefs. She is seen to be someone to be mocked because she has faith. Her intentions towards Molly are very vague until much later in the film as are the intentions of pretty much everyone she encounters at her new school. There are lots of red herrings and some nerve wrecking scenes in the film but it wasn't overly scary. The ending was satisfactory and was worth the wait for me putting up with 80 plus minutes of what seemed initially like a high school thriller.
The film doesn't come across as a low budget film, there was some decent cinematography here and there and the mansion used for Joseph's party when his parents were out of town was quite impressive. The whispering voices Molly hears throughout the film were done very effectively and were indeed quite creepy.
I probably wouldn't watch the film again as I said earlier, horror is not at all a favourite genre of mine but I'd recommend this as a watchable teenage thriller with a bit of a twist. The Haunting of Molly Hartley gets a slightly above average 3 out of 5 from me.
There are various cast and crew interviews available as extras. The main characters talk about their characters in the film as well as their thoughts on the direction, etc. Shanna Collins talks about the religious aspects of the film and how she encountered religious people at school herself who were quite strong believers and also on her own high school experiences. AnnaLynne McCord who plays Joseph's girlfriend Susie talks of her guilty pleasure about watching vampire films and her thoughts on horror films generally. We also hear from the director Mickey Liddell on what attracted him to the film, his favourite scene, on identifying with the characters, on the appeal of horror films, on casting the character of Molly and on Chace Crawford.
The theatrical trailer probably shows all the best scenes from the film but contains some spoilers too, so I was glad I didn't watch the trailer before seeing the film.
There are also English subtitles available on the DVD and there's an option to selection up to 12 different scenes to watch individually.
Starring: Haley Bennett, Chace Crawford, Shanna Collins, Marin Hinkle, Jake Weber, Shannon Marie Woodward, Nina Siemaszko
Director: Mickey Liddell
Producers: Jennifer Hilton, Jerry P Jacobs
Writers: John Travis, Rebecca Sonnenshine
Cinematography: Sharone Meir
Music: James T Sale
Duration: 82 minutes
Release date: 2008
Summary: A just above average horror flick