A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The only real message here is that you should think twice before brazenly walking into a haunted house. Pride and boastfulness are punished. Brings up theme of abuse in romantic relationships but doesn't really discuss it other than to suggest that it can be passed on. Ends in act of revenge that's meant to be cheered.
Positive Role Models
The genre-typical "final girl" here, Harper, shows bravery and cunning and manages to survive.
Violence & Scariness
Character is tortured with hot poker to the face; screams. Character smashed in face with hot poker. Pitchfork through character's face. Metal hook through character's lip, tearing her face apart. Characters step and fall on protruding nails. Character's hands stuck in glue, flesh torn off. Fighting, punching, struggling. A man strangles, punches a woman. Character's face smashed with wooden door. Stabbing in eye. Stabbing in neck. Heads and hands smashed. Some guns and shooting; characters shot. Chainsaws. Baseball bats. Fire. A woman has a black eye, presumably from her boyfriend. Booby traps. Spiders (a character has a fear of them). Jump scares. Digging through bucket of guts. Descriptions/flashbacks of spousal abuse, husband abusing wife.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexy Halloween costumes. Flirting.
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Extremely strong, frequent language, with tons of uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "motherf----r," "bulls--t," "p---y," "bitch," "sucks d--k," "ass," "jackass," "scrotum," "sweet cheeks," and middle-finger gestures.
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Party City store.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink vodka shots in bar. A character is referred to as an alcoholic.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Haunt is a horror movie about a group of college students who decide to visit an "extreme" haunted house on Halloween. Expect graphic violence and gore: Characters are attacked with hot pokers, pitchforks, protruding nails, flesh-tearing glue, and more. There's also strangling, punching, stabbing, fighting, guns and shooting, and deaths. Discussions and flashbacks deal with abusive relationships (men abusing women). Language is also extremely strong, with frequent uses of "f--k," "s--t," and many other words. Characters drink shots in a bar, and one character is referred to as an alcoholic. The movie recalls the worst parts of 1980s slasher movies, with poorly drawn characters, jump scares, and an unsettling penchant for violence against women. Katie Stevens stars. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The promise of a fun, Halloween-set haunted house movie is quickly dashed by a batch of weak, thinly drawn characters, poor decisions, and a preoccupation with torture. Haunt is more Saw than scary. Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods -- who originally wrote the clever, terrifying A Quiet Place -- Haunt has more in common with the cruel, ugly works of its producer, Eli Roth (Hostel, etc.). It tries to be a throwback to 1980s slasher films but succeeds only in copying the bad parts of those movies, with jump scares and brutality, mainly toward women. Plus, the characters are annoying and don't seem like they'd actually be friends.
Only one, Harper, has any kind of backstory, and it's based in abuse. The others are paper thin, and the dull, cultlike batch of killers is far less interesting than a single villain would have been. The movie fails to use its Halloween setting for anything fun (unlike the strikingly similar 1980s cult classic Night of the Demons), and even the haunted house set feels chintzy. Ultimately, it's not the house, but the characters' own poor judgment that gets them into trouble. You'd do better to check out the comparable but much better Hell Fest, with its horror-carnival setting and far more interesting characters.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.