The opening night event of this years Popcorn Frights Film Festival saw them host the world premiere of Haunt, the new film from Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the writers of the mega hit A Quiet Place. The packed house was treated to what will surely be one of the must see films on every horror fan’s watch list this October.
Haunt tells the story of a group of college kids looking for a frightening way to cap off their Halloween evening by you guessed it, heading out to a haunt. Not just any haunt, but an out of the way, extreme haunt. As one would imagine once inside things go badly for our group and they must figure out how to survive and make it to the end. The story at it’s horror core is very simple and fun, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gory crowd pleasing surprises along the way. Beck and Woods have gone in the complete opposite direction from the silence and stillness of A Quiet Place, instead creating a film that takes us inside a fast paced, grim funhouse romp filled with horrors at every turn.
For Haunt, Beck and Woods have not only written the story and script, but also took on the directorial duties as well. Overall Haunt looks great, it’s got the right type of atmosphere necessary for a Halloween based movie and the set pieces are creative, colorful and visually unique. While the actors all do a solid job of playing their parts and making us hope they can actually escape. The film truly shines when focus is put on it’s masked villains who inhabit the titular haunt, the scare actors. All of whom do a wonderful job with their performances on screen as they range from creepy to menacing and for my money with all due respect to the rest of the cast, they are the true stars of the film. I believe they will become fan favorites and I can see Trick or Treat studios licensing the vintage looking Halloween masks they don to mass produce them, and yes I would buy some.
Haunt is the type of film where giving too much away will ruin the good time. I will say I think one of the best parts of Haunt is that it really makes you feel like you are stuck in there with these characters and that is such a fun experience to have with a crowd. If the crowd reaction at the Popcorn Frights screening is any indication, Beck and Woods have crafted a satisfying, enjoyable film that is destined to be an annual watch for horror fans every time the Calendar hits October. Also don’t watch trailers, that gives away a bit of the fun, go in knowing as little as possible.
HAUNT hits theaters and VOD TODAY! Friday the 13th! So be sure to check it out!
Also for fun here is an alternate poster I had worked on for my own fun prior to them releasing their official posters (which are actually pretty cool too as you can see up above)