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Four friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. However, finding it soon becomes the least of their worries in a place haunted by dark memories.
Brandon T. Jackson
By no means a terrible film, just not all that inspired.
Havenhurst is a sprawling Gothic building that has been turned into a halfway house for recovering addicts. Its latest tenant is Jackie (Julie Benz), an ex-alcoholic who discovers that her new abode harbours a horrifying secret: it was once home to one of America's first serial killers, H.H. Holmes, and someone seems to be following in his bloody footsteps.
To be honest, there's not a whole lot of originality going on in Havenhurst, the plot taking the well worn 'creepy old house with a secret' format (complete with hidden passageways and trapdoors) and adding a little Saw-style punishment for good measure, as meted out by cold-hearted landlady Eleanor (Fionnula Flanagan) and her sons whenever their tenants fall off the wagon.
Despite a strong central performance and just a smidge of gruesome gore, the film never really delivers the chills, failing to get the pulse pounding with its hackneyed attempts at eerie atmospherics (the whole building could do with better lighting) and predictable jump scares (I lost count of how many times a creepy figure would suddenly rush past the camera in the foreground or behind a character).
In short, Havenhurst is by no means a terrible film, just not all that inspired.
5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for bumping off Danielle Harris, horror's most over-rated scream queen, as soon as possible.
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