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September 2010

The Haunting Of Molly Hartley

cast: Haley Bennett, Chace Crawford, Jake Weber, Shannon Woodward, and Shanna Collins

director: Mickey Liddell

82 minutes (15) 2008
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Icon DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
review by James A. Stewart

The Haunting Of Molly Hartley

Oh dear, a horror without frights is pretty awful, and that is exactly what The Haunting Of Molly Hartley is. This certificate 15 offering is most bewildering for how it got that rating by the BBFC rather than anything exerting in the plotline, which tenuously exists, is utterly predictable and quite frankly poor.

The story revolves around Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett) you will be surprised to hear. The teenage girl has had a hard life; what with mother in the asylum for trying to murder Molly and daddy being a tad overprotective it is no wonder the girl has issues. But then again, she is a teenage girl so it is only normal to have issues.

The thing is, poor Molly's issues are more to do with the devil than adolescence. She's hears voices, has visions and overall has a hell of time (geddit?) getting through the day as a teenager with a wacko mum and an attraction to the macabre. Oh, and she's going to a new school too. There are many comparisons with a movie I reviewed recently (Dorothy) only that one was a better effort it has to be said.

On screen are some familiar faces such as Chace Crawford (The Covenant) who plays Joseph Young, a flirty school chum who is attracted to Molly. Haley Bennett does okay as Molly, especially when considered the script is full of bad dialogue and the kind of false frights that makes the viewer yearn for a bit of action - you know the kind, music building to crescendo as cupboard door is opened, basketball falls from top shelf, etc.

Really there isn't much in the way of positives about The Haunting Of Molly Hartley, it is flat and as the school-kids in the movie would say, lame. The acting is actually quite good, the direction slick if a bit pedestrian and the script just not that great. The latter is compounded by the mother of all rubbish endings, which I won't spoil here, but you can rest assured it will leave you feeling cheated and hollow. This is a formulaic piece of tosh that has been done much better by many before it.

DVD extras include interviews with the cast and crew.



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