Movie Review: ‘Havenhurst’

Review by Monique Thompson

Strange events plague a troubled alcoholic (Julie Benz) after she moves into a gothic New York apartment complex

No one ever wants to face the reality of receiving an eviction notice, and in Havenhurst, the eviction notices are a bit more fatal. Jackie (Julie Benz; Dexter) decides to take residence in what I’d like to call a halfway house, also known as Havenhurst, which is the same place her friend Danielle (Danielle Harris) lived when she went missing. Havenhurst is known for housing recovering addicts trying to get their lives back together. Jackie, who’s battling her own alcohol addiction and torment after her daughter’s death, is immediately accepted as a residence into the creepy complex, and ironically moved into her missing friend’s apartment. Jackie must battle her own demons, while staying committed to finding out what happened to her friend.

Thankfully, this isn’t really a psychological thriller, which is exactly where I thought things would be headed. Instead, there’s actually a sadistic family that runs the complex. For those that aren’t “staying sober and living a good life”, the tenants are served an eviction notice equaling a torturous death sentence. Right after Jackie moves in, another tenant mysteriously disappears after she hears loads of commotion and screaming coming from the neighbor’s apartment. For that fall off of the sobriety band wagon, they’re plagued with a more fatal consequence.

While the basis of plot has been done over and over again with fictionally weirdos as the villians, in the film it’s later known that Havenhurst is premised from one of the first documented serial killers, H.H. Holmes, who brought his victims to the World’s Fair Hotel that he owned in Chicago in the late 1800s.

For an indie film, the clarity and visual elements of the film are very modest, something totally unexpected. A nice little plot twist is thrown in the mix too so that things aren’t as quite predictable and for the most part, Havenhurst winds up being pretty decent.

Havenhurst is now available on Cable VOD and Digital HD platforms, including Charter Spectrum, Comcast, DirecTV Cinema, Dish, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu and more.

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