The Haunting of Molly Hartley Movie Review
In spite of its retro title and touches, The Haunting of Molly Hartley is a typical horror film -- occasionally unpleasant, intermittently scary, set in a Bible-obsessed American town where no one is as normal as they seem. There's nothing wrong with this premise; evangelicals believe lots of crazy things. But everything in this movie is predictable, from the slow episodic pace to the creepily derivative music, and you've seen it all before.
Most of the actors are B grade, with the notable exception of star Haley Bennett, who carries the movie on her back as the title character. There are only so many ways to swoon or get scared by household noises, but give Bennett props for never giving up on this film. After she fires her agent, she should be just fine. The other acting is pretty inadequate, especially Chace Crawford as her boyfriend, who starts out trying to look and act exactly like a teenage version of The Office's John Krasinski, then abruptly turns demonic.
If it had been made in the '80s, The Haunting of Molly Hartley would have had more skin and more gore, and moved a lot faster. If it had been made in the '90s it would have been more hip and ironic. Made in 2008, it's just pointless. The only unanswered questions left after watching this movie are the same questions raised by half the films made today: Why do filmmakers bother? Are they crazy? Are we crazy? And if not, why do we keep paying $8 to see the same movie again?
Get up: In the last movie someone got killed sitting there.