3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Haunting of Molly Hartley (Amazon Video)
Let's get a few things straight: Molly Hartley is not haunted.
Oh, she has her issues. She hears strange noises, has odd visions of murdered women, and comes saddled with a boatload of family dysfunction. But by the strict definition of actually being haunted, there's no spirits harassing poor Molly (Haley Bennett).
Her actual problem is a big spoiler, so I'll leave it simply that this movie isn't a ghost story but another movie form entirely, updated to take place in high school, when everyone is painfully hip, pretty, and gets what they deserve in the end.
Okay, not quite what they deserve. The Haunting of Molly Hartley is actually an anti-fundamentalist rant; it seems poor Hartley is the target of divinely-inspired assassins who believe she is the incarnation of evil that must be destroyed. One of them happens to be Molly's mother (Marin Hinkle), who was remanded to an insane asylum. Things go from bad to worse when Molly tries to start a new life in a new high school with her sad-sack father (Jake Weber).
Unfortunately for Molly, her high school seethes with stereotypes: The handsome jock who takes an inordinate interest in her (Chace Crawford); the queen bee who hates her; the rebel girl who allies with her. Notably, there isn't an unattractive soul in the bunch.
And that's the problem with a movie that has nothing to do with ghosts. Anyone expecting an actual haunting will be sorely disappointed by the somewhat mundane reality that at heart is every bad girl's dream: being badder than everybody else.
The Haunting of Molly Hartley uses random scares to substitute for actual horror, too-cool-for-school dialogue to make up for actual dialogue, and steals another plot entirely to make up for the distinct lack of spiritual activity. The real horror story here is high school, but the Haunting can't even get that right.