The Haint

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Haint Movie Poster Image
Some older kids will like this creepy story.
  • NR
  • 2002
  • 60 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence

Very scary

Sex

Sexual references

Language

Brief strong language

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

None

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has brief foul language and scariness.

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What's the story?

THE HAINT is an intriguing Southern ghost story very reminiscent of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology and Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, with eclectic, memorable characters, and an overall creepiness throughout the play that doesn't take away from some very funny moments. What makes this movie stand out is that it is all performed by one man -- co-playwright Troy Mink. Mink never once changes costume throughout the show; rather he relies on his expressive face and astounding vocal range to convey the characters. All the characters are talking to some documentary makers who have come to Midway, Tennessee, to discuss Bloody Mary, a woman who killed her cheating lover and then herself (and told people before she was going to do it) and now has become the focus of a great tourist attraction to Midway. Mink plays 13 characters; from a strange town simpleton to a humble mayor to an effeminate spiritualist through interviews from the filmmakers, a climactic séance, and the tourists' mixed reactions.

Is it any good?

Mink is incredible. His understated performances are so varied that they have to be spoken of as plural. He never showboats or caricatures. He doesn't even have to make his voice artificially high to convey a woman, but I would have believed it was a women talking had my eyes been shut. On the DVD extras, Mink speaks without a southern accent, making his sustained and convincing onstage accent even more impressive. He based some of the characters on people he knew, but fortunately he never stoops to mocking them; no matter how dense or unlikable they are, he believes their every word and shows it.

The Haint is never terrifying, but is consistently creepy. It's always believable; we never see the ghost and the peculiar characters are realistic. It's cleverly written, and has some genuinely comic moments, like when a tourist tells the filmmakers what a terrible place it is for children before carelessly telling her child, "Come on, let's get some coffee."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why films and stories set in small towns are often so fascinating. What are the differences between city life and small town life, when it comes to how people interact with each other and their world?

Movie details

  • In theaters: November 26, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: November 26, 2002
  • Cast: Troy Mink
  • Director: Troy Mink
  • Studio: TMW MEDIA GROUP
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • MPAA explanation: Not Rated

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