October 31, 2008 The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Studio: Liddell Entertainment Rating: PG-13 for strong thematic material, violence and terror, brief strong language and some teen drinking.
A schoolgirl tries to put her troubled past behind her, only to discover a new start isn't always in the cards. Starring as the title character, Haley Bennett is the central focus of "The Haunting of Molly Hartley."
When we first meet her, Molly is a high school teenager who is very worried about her mother. Marin Hinkle plays Jane Hartley and she's slowly slipping away due to mental illness.
Molly steps in to comfort her mom, but things don't go well as the older woman suddenly attacks her daughter.
After she recovers from the assault, Molly moves in with her father and starts attending a new school. But as she approaches her 18th birthday, Molly starts hearing and seeing things. That causes her to wonder if she's going to end up the victim of mental illness, just like her mom. While she's dealing with her fears, Molly manages to attract the attention of a very popular boy. But that also creates jealousy and tension with some of the other girls. It all comes together as we find out the truth behind Molly's problems. Even she doesn't know who...or what she is destined to become.
First-time director Mickey Lidell delivers a pretty standard and tame by-the-numbers thriller. You have the typical prep school meanies being bad to the new girl, you have jumps and jolts at all of the familiar places and fairly bland performances from everyone involved.
I will give it credit for an ending you may not see coming. Instead of going for safe and predictable you get something a little more unsettling.
On my rating scale, "The Haunting Of Molly Hartley" earns a Single.
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