Adam Markovitz
October 31, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
86 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/31/08
performer
Haley Bennett, Chace Crawford
director
Mickey Liddell
distributor
Freestyle Releasing
author
John Travis, Rebecca Sonnenshine
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an C-

The line between teen angst and demonic possession gets even blurrier in The Haunting of Molly Hartley, a lightweight horror pic about a troubled 17-year-old (Haley Bennett) who tries to escape her spooky past by enrolling at a posh prep school. Soon enough, homework gets neglected as she’s plagued by headaches and creepy visions — not to mention lame pick-up lines from the resident pretty boy (Chace Crawford, looking like he got lost on his way to the Gossip Girl set). The story’s a snooze, so the filmmakers punch it up with smash cuts and thunderclaps that turn the most laughably banal items — birds, mail, an alarm clock — into cheap jack-in-the-box shocks. They’ll make you flinch — but then again, so will most of the dialogue. C?

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