There are those occasional films that you stumble across that are burnt in your memory and remembered for all time. These rare films remind you why you love watching movies so much. The shots are exquisite, the sound flows smoothly, and the acting is intensely perfect. On June 14, Icon Home Entertainment are releasing The Haunting of Molly Hartley in the UK and this is most certainly not one of those films to remember.
It certainly burns itself into one's memory but for all the wrong reasons. The acting is average, the story has been seen before, and the overall style of the film is plain and simply okay. The film boasts an introductory scene that is about the best part of the film and that’s only because we see a brief stint with Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna in 90210) who can produce emotions on camera. How this actual scene is necessary in assisting the storyline is rather befuddling.
The story centres on the title character Molly Hartley, played by Haley Bennett (Music & Lyrics). She is your average 17-year-old teen apart from the fact that her Mum sits in a mental institution after having tried to kill her own daughter with a pair of scissors.
It begins with Molly starting at a new school in her 17th year due to her emotional past (re: Mum and scissors). She is made to befriend the local Christian nerd (Shanna Collins) with whom she strikes up what seems an unwanted friendship. She also takes to liking to the cool guy played by Chace Crawford, better known for his recent role as Nate in Gossip Girl. Throughout her school introductions Molly suffers from nosebleeds and psychotic episodes, which have her seeing things. Basically she soon comes to realise that something evil is about to happen on her 18th birthday and she needs to stop it.
What sounds like a basic storyline only becomes quite torturous as the the plot develops slower than a snail in slow motion. When we finally do see some action in the film and there seems to be something worth watching, the film ends. I’m sure there must have been many quizzical stares at the cinema when the credits rolled on this one.
If you like your teen television shows, we see a few of the actors from the top rated series like Gossip Girl and 90210, which is one of the film's few good points. Nate and Adrianna create great eye candy, whichever way you flow and we also see AnnaLynne McCord, who plays Naomi in 90210, acting as yet another bitchy high school teen cool girl. We get the chance to see some great acting on her part. Let’s hope she does not stay typecast in these roles as I think there may be more to her acting skills than this teen nasty girl role.
The overall look of the film is good enough to pass by without too much to point out. The editing is well done and the shots are what you would expect from a thriller. There are some amusing slashing sounds as knives swish through the air but what really annoyed me was the colour of the film. It looked as though the filmmaker wanted the film to shift from a light and bright happy look into a dark disturbed tone as the film progressed but this came across so abruptly that the styles just clashed. One minute we are seeing an averagely lit film and the next it looks as though Kermit the Frog is standing in front of the camera.
The Haunting of Molly Hartley DVD has some extras that help give you something for your money. There are interviews with the cast and director and you can also view the theatrical trailer, which is probably there to rescue you from watching the entire film.
If you love your teen American stars then this gives you the chance to see them in similar roles with different character names. If you want to go all out and make the purchase you can find it on Amazon in both the UK and US. The UK version is available on Amazon via Icon Home Entertainment on June 14.