Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Haunter Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    Village Voice Calum Marsh

    Has an elegance roughly on par with a Goosebumps novel, refusing to follow its own contradictory rules and barely sustaining a pretense of internal logic.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The New York Times Nicolas Rapold

    Lifted by the sepulchral Stephen McHattie as Lisa’s nemesis, the film’s frazzled thought experiment becomes an adequate yarn.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Joe Leydon

    Director Vincenzo Natali (“Splice”) is more effective at sustaining clammy suspense than hiding all the holes in Brian King’s script. But top-billed Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) is effective enough to generate a rooting interest in the plucky protagonist of the piece, and to sustain interest when narrative logic turns fuzzy.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Annlee Ellingson

    Haunter offers a freaky, visceral experience — without a hint of gore.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Less twisted than Natali's last film, Splice, it's sufficiently novel to uphold his reputation as a filmmaker not content telling conventional fanboy stories.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Haunter reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Creepy ghost story avoids gore but still scares.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Haunter is a kind of low-voltage ghost story that focuses more on characters and mood than on blood and gore. The plot involves a killer who has kidnapped and killed teen girls for years; now he does it as a ghost. Aside from vague descriptions of his acts, very little blood or gore is shown. There are a few scary ghost scenes (including one scene in which the main character's family seems to decompose and turn into skeletons), and characters shouting and throwing temper tantrums. Language is mild and includes uses of "son of a bitch," "hell," "Goddamn," and "bastard." Adults smoke cigarettes in a couple of scenes, and there are several 1980s brand names on display. This movie won't scare older teen horror fans, but it may be fine for sturdy younger teens looking for an introductory horror movie.

  • Families can talk about the movie's use of violence. What was shown and what was just hinted at? Do you think this movie would have been scarier with more blood and gore? Is there any kind of scare you won't watch?
  • How scary was the movie? What makes a good, scary horror movie?
  • Is the Lisa character a realistic teen? What are her positive and negative qualities?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Helping others and appreciating one's family, despite their flaws, are the main positive messages. These are wrapped up in a scary story about a man killing teenage girls.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Lisa may be a petulant teen, prone to sulking and sometimes disrespecting her parents, but when the time comes, she turns out to be a brave and helpful soul, going against seemingly impossible odds to solve an important problem.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: In the story, the villain has been kidnapping and killing teen girls for decades and he's a very creepy character; even after his death, he possesses the girls' fathers to continue his murderous streak. Outside of this violent idea, very little overt violence, blood, or gore is shown, though teens will still be very creeped out. There are a few scary "ghost" scenes, and a few scenes of fathers shouting angrily and throwing things around the room. In one scene, the main character's family is shown decomposing and turning into skeletons (they're fine in the next moment). In a climactic scene, the teen heroine tries to strangle the killer.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false2

    Language: Language is very infrequent and includes "son of a bitch," "hell," and "Goddamn" a few times, plus "bastard" and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: The movie has lots of 1980s artifacts, including rock posters and t-shirts (The Cure, David Bowie, Siouxsie and the Banshees), an Atari Pac-Man video game, Converse shoes, Monopoly and Risk board games, and a Rubik's cube. A scene that takes place in a modern bedroom includes an iPad (or some kind of tablet -- no brand name is shown).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In a couple of scenes, two father characters light up and smoke cigarettes.