The Haunted by Bentley Little – book review

Bentley Little the HauntedThe Haunted – Bentley Little

I found The Haunted to be a good haunted house horror story. It was written in modern style, easy reading, enabling you to get deep into the story very quickly. The characters are your average family, not overly exciting, but they grow on you as the story progresses. A family of four, the Perry’s, move into a new home in an historical area of their South Western city (I’m assuming Arizona or New Mexico). They are shunned by their new neighbors and old friends feel uncomfortable in the home. Each family member seems to behave differently as the influence of the house creeps into them. They hear voices in the house at night and see shadows in the basement. (spoilers ahead)

It’s not until a house-warming party that they learn what is truly occurring in the house, as a ghost parades through the living room, a spectre spectacle in front of many guests. It’s a chilling scene and the anticipation for it builds. I didn’t find everything in the book to be frightening, the text messages and words on the computer screen did very little for me. However there were more interesting aspects that would be unnerving if they happened in real life, for instance strangers drawn to the home to commit suicide. (end of spoilers)

There’s sex and there’s gore, so I would give it a strong ‘R’ – rating, only for adults. The story built to a great climax and a good ending, not what I would have expected. Summed up, it’s a good haunted house story, not great and not a classic, but entertaining nevertheless.

Recommended for a good Halloween haunted house read.

BentleyLittle b&w abandoned house 2


Haunter (2013) – movie review

Haunted Photo

Haunter (2013)

This is a different approach to the familiar haunted house movie. In this film of opposites, the living are haunting the dead (kind of). Young teen, Lisa finds herself stuck in a groundhog day scenario, where she wakes up every morning and the same events are repeating. The rest of her family, mom, dad, brother, have no clue, repeating the same words and taking Haunter-2013-Movie-Posterthe same actions. Something has awakened Lisa’s senses and she has now become aware. She senses another young female, with similar likes and interests and feels the need to make contact, using a Ouija Board in the attic. Eventually she feels the presence of many entities in the home each trapped in their own loop with no knowledge of the others. However, there’s an additional, much darker presence in the house that needs them to stay ‘asleep’ and unaware of each other.

Some viewers may take issue with the fact that, if they are dead, then why are they scared, and why don‘t they just run through the walls, away from the bad man. I think the film showed that there are aspects to fear, even in death, and that since they are stuck in the home, believing they are alive; they are bound by the realism they have created. This issue is going to depend on your suspension of disbelief, which I had no problem with, once I accepted the parameters.

While not really scary, it is still an interesting story with some tense moments. All the parts were well-acted and it was good to see Abigail Breslin, from the movie Signs, grown up and in another film. I kept expecting her to say, “There’s a monster in my room, can I have a glass of water?” Stephen McHattie plays the sinister spirit role quite well and I hope to see him in more films of the genre. I think there is an untapped talent in him that would excel as the horror genre, bad guy.

Haunted Photo

Worth the once through for an interesting story, entertaining discovery, and a well-paced plot.

I’ll give it 3.7 ghostly ghouls out of 5 for sinister sepulchral secrets revealed.