Evil is abound in a new release that pits former Dexter star Julie Benz against a flesh tearing force that inhabits a building meant for rehabilitation from addiction. Sparing not a single second, Benz is almost immediately thrown into a horrific situation replete with the same green tones that seem to be the go to color palette for most new horror genre releases. Set in an old, ornate apartment high rise, this Havenhurst is a call back to a time when mysteries lied in wait and the things hiding in the walls are scarier than any ghost or omnipresent supernatural force.
Using a goofy looking main antagonist and some truly unbelievable situations, Havenhurst is far from perfect but maintains a nice balance between its little bit of cheese and the nightmarish scenarios that might fail under a less talented actress. Benz continues to shine per usual as she's supported by horror mainstay Fionnula Flanagan in another role that's eerie and reminiscent of her performance in The Others. Child actor Belle Shouse holds her own against two much older female actresses as she rounds out the story with her role as Sarah, a youthful lost soul trapped in the Havenhurst building.
When movies like Rings get released to theaters and better, more challenging, horror films like Havenhurst get relegated to streaming services and limited theatrical runs, something is completely broken. The system doesn't support interesting stories like this while they continue to rehash and remake tired franchises and slasher flicks. Armed to the teeth with classic genre tropes, excellent acting, awesome practical gore effects, and tons of brooding thematics, Havenhurst takes the evil apartment building setting to its own level.
|Dexter? Is that you?!!!|
Using a bit of Saw-like torture based brutality blended with tons of shrouded secrecy and mysterious underpinnings, this is easily one of the better horror releases of early 2017. Julie Benz never disappoints. It's always nice to see her doing different types of projects and spreading her wings as an actress. Havenhurst is not the greatest thing but it gives Benz something new to try. And that's totally worth it.
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