Summary A troubled young woman takes up residence in a gothic apartment building where she must confront a terrifying evil.
Genre : Horror Country : USA
Cast : Julie Benz: Jackie
Fionnula Flanagan : Eleanor Belle Shouse : Sarah
Director : Andrew C. Erin
“Our rules are simple.You stay sober, you lead a good
life, and you don't fall back into your old habits.Then, you are welcome to stay
here until the day you die. And if I don't lead a good life? Then your stay at Havenhurst
would be terminated.”
Are you a recovering addict and you're offered to stay at "Havenhurst" as aftercare, you'd better make sure you do not slide back into your bad habit. The result is an eviction from this gigantic baroque looking building in downtown New York. A normal eviction would involve you packing your bags and closing the door behind you in an agitated mood. If your stay is terminated at "Havenhurst", the eviction is quite painful and final. But you can be sure of one thing. You won't fall of the wagon ever again.
The person who moves to "Havenhurst" is Jackie (Julie Benz), a recovering alcoholic who's responsible for the death of her lovable daughter because of her addiction. After she gets fired from rehab, she'll get a further follow-up in this luxurious looking hotel. Apparently, a whole bunch of ex-addicts are staying there. As said before, there's only golden rule in this building. The residents shouldn't start again with their bad habits. This is explained by Eleanor (Fionnula Flanagan), landlady of this shelter. A distinguished-looking elderly woman who clearly shows her sympathy towards the inhabitants and who obviously cares about their welfare. In retrospect, she appears to be mother of two less peaceful sons. Even a link is made with the notorious Herman Mudget (better known as H. H. Holmes, one of the first documented serial killers from the 1800s).
In itself the film wasn't so bad but it wasn't really impressive either. It's a mixture of a few superficial ideas and concepts already used in other movies. The house is a maze of secret corridors and entrances in the walls, just like in "House Bound". The final destination of the victims and the denouement is again similar to "The Hoarder". The basement reminds you of "The Texas chainsaw massacre". And of course again you'll witness a little bit of detective work when Jackie realizes that some guests disappear without a trace. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of elements which aren't explained. There's the disappearance of Jackie's girlfriend Danielle (Danielle Harris). A brief event and a reason for Jackie to initiate an investigation at "Havenhurst". And her relationship with the helpful agent isn't explained either in detail.
The biggest disappointment for me was the horror content of the film. You can't really call it horror because it isn't actually frightening. Gory scenes can be counted on one hand. There is only one explicit scene and it's also kind of implausible at the same time. And to be honest the physical strength of the killer who moves throughout the building via cleverly designed mechanisms, is a bit exaggerated. His new victims are hurled through the room as if they weigh nothing. At one point I thought it was a paranormal phenomenon with a superhuman strength.
And how is it that other people haven't heard that something was wrong? The walls are apparently paper thin so you can easily hear every suspicious noise or moaning. But apparently only Jackie can hear it. "Havenhurst" is no more than a thriller containing a gloomy mystery. A sort of horror for beginners. Unfortunately, there is not such a refuge in reality. Otherwise, more people would admit they have a problem so they are sure of a place in such a majestic building. Without a serial killer of course.