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Review: Bloody ‘Havenhurst’ unlikely to win over any converts

‘Havenhurst’
Danielle Harris, left, and Belle Shouse in the film “Havenhurst.”
(Brainstorm Media)

A dripping faucet and noisy neighbors suddenly seem like minor inconveniences when watching the horror movie “Havenhurst.” Set in a deathtrap disguised as a gorgeous Gothic apartment building, this low-budget bloodbath won’t bring any new fans to the genre. However, gorehounds and true crime obsessives alike will find some fun scares in its walls, even if their heart rates will be back to normal by its ultimately unsatisfying conclusion.

Genre favorite Julie Benz stars as Jackie, a woman who leaves rehab and moves into a beautiful New York City apartment. The building’s owner (Fionnula Flanagan) outlines the rules: She can stay as long as she likes, but if she backslides into alcoholism again, she will be evicted. Though she’s seen in a single scene working as a waitress, Jackie spends her time investigating, with the help of a detective (Josh Stamberg), the disappearance of a friend from rehab who lived in the apartment before her.

Strange — and deadly — happenings begin to plague her neighbors, including a young girl (Belle Shouse) who cautions Jackie against behaving badly.

Directed by Andrew C. Erin, who co-wrote with Daniel Farrands, “Havenhurst” never has as much fun with its premise as it should, and it peaks before its final scenes. A reveal about the nature of the building and its violence works initially, but is never fully explored. There are some truly disgusting kills, making sure that horror fans who thirst for blood will get their fill.

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‘Havenhurst’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

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Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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