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Film Review: Havenhurst

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Those old apartments - the stories they could tell, and the secrets that reside within the walls could be enough to amuse, bewilder and frighten many timid souls...and then we come to Havenhurst, from director Andrew C. Erin - so grab your bags and let's meet at the front steps to dissect this flick, shall we?

Starring Julie Benz as Jackie, an alcoholic fresh out of rehab, her next order of business is to take the offer of a new residence from an elderly (and mysterious) soul named Eleanor. She assists recovering addicts and takes them under her roof, and her only stipulation is that the people she take in keep themselves clean for the duration of their lease - stray from the side of sobriety? Let's just say that there will be "penalties", and I'm not talking about a nasty note from the landlord under the door. Jackie right off the bat has some serious concerns about the apartment, seeing as her best friend (Danielle Harris in a blindingly quick cameo), disappeared without a trace while staying there. With conjectures still fresh in her mind, Jackie moves in and befriends a young girl named Sarah, and immediately gets thrust into her issues stemming from an abusive relationship with her foster parents - jeezus, everybody's got problems in this place! With all of the entities strolling around, there's got to be at least one individual that's got some semblance of reasoning here, correct? Anyone? Anyone at all?

With its darkened hallways and gloomy tenants, upon first glossing, you'd think that Havenhurst would have all the bells and whistles of a really decent haunted house movie, but even with Benz's character's constant brooding and sad reflection at a tragic past, the movie just really never manages to gel in the way most horror fans would want it to. Sure, there's some jump-scares and the eventual spray of an artery, but considering all of the factors put in front of it, the overall hook never truly latches on and carries the movie over the finish line. The issues of addiction and past regressions seem to override the supernatural factor, and if I wanted to see someone lamenting their screw-ups while they were on the bottle, then I'd tune into an episode of "Intervention." Overall, the film's view from the outside is much more appealing than what it actually is once you've strolled through the front doors...oh how art imitates life.

Havenhurst opens in select theaters, and on Cable and digital VOD services on February 10th.

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Updated 02-09-2017 at 11:18 AM by bronxtko

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  1. Gavin Schmitt's Avatar
    I rather enjoyed this one. I agree Danielle Harris appears for way too brief a time, but I love the idea of involving a real-life serial killer. It's like "Crawlspace" meets "Devil in the White City".