Haunter is a 2013 Canadian horror/supernatural flick directed by Vicenzo Natali and starring a teenage Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie & David Hewlett. It was produced by Copperheart Entertainment and written by Brian King.
Lisa Johnson is the only one in her family of four who seems to be aware that the Johnson family is reliving the same day over & over again. It is a Sunday in the late 1980s, the day before Lisa is to turn 16. She is woken up by her younger brother Robbie who calls her down to play video games with him but she puts her earphones on and is asked to start the laundry by her mother Carol. Lisa goes to put the clothes in and is scared by a noise and she comes back up. The food is the same – pancakes for breakfast, mac n cheese for lunch and meatloaf followed by ice cream for dinner after which the family sits and watches that week’s episode of Murder She Wrote. She goes to bed and wakes up and the same day starts all over again. Robbie seems to have an imaginary friend named Edgar who could be key to some of the things happening. She sees glimpses of a figure behind her and tries to contact spirits using an ouija board but she is shocked to find out that the being she has contacted is alive!
So it becomes obvious to her; she & her family died that day and are stuck, repeating the day over and over again. She finds a small door leading to an underground cave/tunnel in her basement and find objects that belonged to young girls who were murdered before her. Lisa also finds belongings of Olivia (Eleanor Zichy) and the two connect. Olivia is a future family’s daughter living in the house, whose family will be the next set of victims. Lisa, with both the help of others and being transported into the timeline of other victims within the same house, unravels the mystery of what is going on in her family and in her house. Her father had killed the family and himself when he was possessed by the evil spirit of Edgar Mullins, a real life killer who murder young girls. He continues the pattern, possessing father’s of young girls he targets and while possessed the father kills the daughter and the rest of the family by suffocating them with carbon monoxide in the garage. During this time the family is “awakened” or comes to terms with the knowledge that they are dead and are able to assist. After Lisa’s family awakens to the truth and flees to the light, Lisa stays behind to stop the ongoing deaths and the evil spirit of Edgar haunting the house with the help of Olivia and the spirits of other girls who were murder victims.
Along with the evil spirit’s original family, who were also victims killed in the house, Lisa manages to overcome the evil spirit who subjected her to the curse and helps save another family, Olivia’s from suffering the same fate. After breaking the cycle of possession and murder-suicides, and Olivia’s father is no longer possessed, Lisa wakes up, no longer reliving the same day. It is now her birthday in the spirit realm and she is able to make the world appear as the way she wants it and after receiving a gift from her family she goes out of the house to explore.
The film is a bit confusing and lacks a coherent storyline or perhaps just needed better direction from Natali. I really thought that the movie had potential to be much better. Still a 7 outta 10 but it is dragging in places.