Posted: 11/03/2008

 

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

(2008)

by Rick Villalobos




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A horror film about a bunch of teenage horn balls trying to survive from being torn to pieces or even worse—watching High School Musical three for the seventh time—is not worth the hassle of dislodging my feet from the sticky theater floors. Yes, Hollywood will continue to make these films and people will continue to watch them. Why mess with a good thing? It is the same film shot over and over again and we can’t take our eyes away for one moment. Blame the eighties for giving us a storyline that is tireless in its pursuit to disgust and entertain.

It is likely that the next big block buster horror film will have the same plot, the same leading actress, and the same villain out for revenge, but at least we will not have to endure the wrath of a tone deaf actor singing about love, life, and high school.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley is a film about a teenage girl trying to survive her worst nightmare—the devil taking her soul. Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett) is the new kid in school with a dark past. Haunted by her memories, she tries to live a normal life as just another kid in high school.

Most horror films tend to have storylines that are straightforward. The premise works ever time—killer or evil entity rakes up a body count that would make Rambo jealous. Add a couple of middle-aged actors that look like teenagers—cross that with elements of a B-Movie and a horror film is born. But, The Haunting of Molly Hartley just didn’t work. Maybe it was a twist of bad luck. Maybe the planets weren’t aligned correctly or maybe it was just a bad script. Who knows what dark forces were behind its creation? Although, the acting wasn’t a total mess, a couple of actors from the CW are not going to make things better. Who cares about a Gossip Girl heartthrob (Chace Crawford) or a 90210 princess (AnnaLynne McCord)? It is Halloween—I want to be scared and intrigued by a great storyline. Either way, I spent eight bucks on a ticket that got me a seat next to a big-bloated dude with popcorn breath and dressed in an iron man costume. If anything, at least this film has hot girls in schoolgirl outfits—I guess it wasn’t a total loss.

Rick Villalobos is a writer and film critic in Chicago.



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