Havenhurst (2017) Movie Review

Welcome to Havenhurst, where there is only one simple rule: stay clean and live a good life. This is the only thing the tenants need to do in order to live in this gorgeous Gothic apartment building. The tenement has its secrets, however, and they don’t like to stay quiet. Jackie (Julie Benz) has just gotten out of rehab and is allowed to move into Havenhurst. Her friend, Danielle (Danielle Harris), has recently gone missing. Her last know location? Havenhurst.

Havenhurst had me on the edge of my seat in suspense. I thought the film was going in one direction and then it completely flipped around at the end. Even the subtle clue of the picture of H.H. Holmes lead me to think more about the history of the building. There are secret doors, video cameras recording the tenants’ every action, and secret shoots leading to the playground of the killer.

Julie Benz (Dexter TV series, Angel TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series) portrays Jackie, the vulnerable yet strong heroine. Her powerful acting allows viewers to connect with the character as she battles her own demons/addictions. Another brilliant performance was from Fionnula Flannagan (The Others (2000), Lost TV series) as the evil landlord of Havenhurst. Flannagan plays her character with charm and kindness that could kill in a instant. Her character was calm and collected even while dealing with her “evicted” tenants. The only thing missing was Danielle Harris (Halloween 4&5, Rob Zombie’s Halloween). Harris is in the film but not as much as I wanted; as I continued to watch, I held out hope that I would see more of her but was sadly disappointed.

The story is as intricate as the secrets of Havenhurst. I applaud Andrew C. Erin (Sam’s Lake (2006), Embrace of the Vampire (2013)) and Daniel Farrands (Amityville: The Awakening (2017), Haunting in Connecticut (2009)) for creating a horror story that is both suspenseful and scary with very little gore in the film. The character of Jackie was well-written, battling her own demons while confronting the evil of Havenhurst. Erin captured beautiful shots and scenes that portrayed the lavish surroundings while also showing the darkness of the building’s secrets. Also, the score by tomandandy built the suspense up subtly, yet at times had me jumping out of my seat.

Havenhurst’s Los Angles Theatrical Release at Laemmie Music Hall on February 10th, 2017. The film will also have screenings in select theaters and will be able to stream on VOD, so be sure to check your cable and satellite schedules after the tenth.



About Dani McKinney

Dani loves horror movies ever since she saw Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with Danielle Harris. She loves vampires, her favorite movie is Interview with a Vampire. She reads constantly and mostly books about the supernatural and is also a paranormal investigator.

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