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The Haunting of Molly Hartley

Quickcard Review The Haunting of Molly Hartley

Directed by: Mickey Liddell Cast: Haley Bennett, Jake Weber, Chace Crawford Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG-13

Plot: Seventeen-year old Molly (Bennett) slowly learns of the horrors that will happen to her on the day she turns eighteen.

Who's It For?: In the world of Molly Hartley, parents are trying to kill their children, religion is a super-lame idea forced upon by pesky, ugly fanatics, and more importantly - no one understands you. This movie is basically gasoline to the fiery angst burning within WASP-y teenagers who just got their braces. And while Nick and Norah was their Say Anything, this is their Exorcist.

Expectations: When I heard someone talking about this movie, they said it was like 2006's The Covenant. I became truly frightened - one time I had a nightmare I was forced to see that movie twice.


Molly Hartley is a story abusive of whatever little thrill it can provide. At one point in the movie, the script meanders for about thirty minutes without revealing anything involving Molly's secret, only offering cheap scares that become increasingly predictable. Filled to the brim with dumb jump scenes the film has moments that bottle up the audience with false alarms and then BAM!

Modern horror has become cheap, (though the tickets aren’t), reduced to scares that only deliver on the grotesqueness of whatever is the basis for the "jump." Similar to its acting and plot, the "fear" in Molly Hartley is juvenile.

But there’s something strangely fascinating about Molly Hartley. While the film's credibility has it sharing some space in the waste bin with The Covenant or even When A Stranger Calls, its got a few surprises that might leave movie dumpster junkies scratching their heads. Certain characters and ultimately the film’s resolution poke at a strange underlying message that “evil” is good, which is both unusual to hunky-dory Hollywood mechanics and impressionable on its naïve audience. As ludicrous and unnecessary as it may be, it’s an admirable stab at the unusual by screenwriters well aware of the meaninglessness of their work. It's like when Disney animators used to get a kick out of placing phalluses in the backgrounds of certain scenes in their films.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley is as insignificant as a deformed piece of candy corn. And even though there is a slight difference in shape or size, it can't stop from looking like everything else in the bag.

Final Score: 4/10

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