Last week I was disappointed by the Halloween-season cinema offerings.
However this week I am a bit more please.
“The Haunting of Molly Hartley” is the better of the two Halloween movies I have seen this year, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to watch something a little creepy.
The plot is complex, which I always like.
It starts out in the past with a seemingly deranged father insisting upon killing his daughter because “the darkness” is going to take her when she turns 18 years old.
He succeeds, and then the movie flashes to present day and audience members catch a glimpse into the life of Molly Hartley, played by Haley Bennett.
Molly’s mother tried to kill her by stabbing her in the chest with a pair of succors, and so the movie picks up with Molly and her father, Robert Hartley played by Jake Weber, starting over in a new town and new school that is closer to the insane asylum Jane Hartley, played by Marin Hinkle, calls home.
Throughout the movie Molly deals with trying to fit in at a new school while experiencing dizzy spells, random nose bleeds, voices in her head and random encounters with what appears to be her mother.
Her father doesn’t believe that Molly is seeing her mother appear at random places, and he tells Molly not to heed the cryptic warnings her mother keeps repeating.
Why should she believe someone who says she needs to die before she turns 18 because otherwise some dark forces will take her?
By the end of the film, Molly learns about a pact with an evil force that her parents made in order to keep her alive, and she finds that the evil is all around her, even in her school.
So when Jane Hartley truly escapes from the asylum, Molly only has one option.
No, it’s not to go seek salvation from her Christian friend who attempts to drown her in a baptism pool, and it’s not to ask for her father’s help because, even though he doesn’t want to believe it, he helped make the pact with the evil that wants to reclaim Molly.
Instead, the only option is to make sure she doesn’t turn 18.
But can someone destined to be a mechanism of evil die?
Molly’s going to find out and it leads to an ending that I didn’t see coming, which is why I appreciated this movie.
Granted, the plot seems oddly familiar, as though the basics of the story have been used before in countless other horror and suspense films.
I did enjoy the movie, though, because it made me think.
It wasn’t a mindless film that I knew exactly what was coming next. There were just enough twists and turns to keep my happy and distracted from the familiarities of the story.
Over all, I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for something a little scary and creepy that isn’t the typical blood-and-guts horror flick.
It is rated PG-13 for violence, language and teen drinking, and it has a total runtime of 87 minutes, even though it seems longer because the plot does pull you in.
For more information about this film, visit the official Web site at www.TheHauntingOfMollyHartley.com.