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The Haunting of Molly Hartley

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The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Directed by Mickey Liddell
Freestyle Releasing
Opened October 31

From Freestyle Releasing, the self-service distributor that brought you D-War and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, comes a movie even worse than those two combined. It really makes things tough on those of us who try our damnedest to defend horror as a legitimate, meritorious genre when crap like this gets churned out on Halloween, but perhaps this critic’s sacrifice of time and money will not be in vain if everyone reading avoids The Haunting of Molly Hartley like vegetable sticks in a trick-or-treat bag. In the vein of the antiseptic, CW-kid-starring pseudo-horror that we all thought got left behind along with the rest of the '90s, Molly Hartley stars 20-year-old Haley Bennett as the titular 17-year-old, a prep-school girl whose “haunting” consists of flashbacks to the time when her now-committed mother tried to kill her with a pair of scissors. Why? Well, you'll have to wait until the end of this tedious, scareless slog to find out, but suffice it to say that Satan is involved. Too bad Ol' Scratch doesn't actually show up; that might have made for at least one visually interesting shot. Producer-turned-director Mickey Liddell (Everwood) evinces no talent whatsoever in his new role; he too seems to have sold his soul for this opportunity, and gotten shortchanged on the deal.

 
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