17. The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008)
I watched The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008) with my sister because it was free on On Demand.
The movie starts out with a scene of a 17-year-old girl in the late 90s who is following a string through the woods. This string has post-it note messages on it that say things like “follow” or “keep going,” etc. This goes on for about a mile, so someone went through some serious trouble to do this. While she is following the string, she keeps hearing scary whispers, having major headaches and looking into the sky a lot.
If you have ever seen a horror movie, you know that you should not follow a scary string through the woods when you are hearing whispers and other creepy things are happening as well, because the end of the string will inevitably be soaked in blood and have a post-it note that says something like “Happy Deathday, now you die!” on it.
It ends up just being her boyfriend, though. He is wishing her a Happy Birthday, and thought that a creepy old cabin in the middle of the woods would be the best place to do it. Unfortunately, her dad shows up and totally ruins their special moment, and takes her away.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that he freaks out and yells that he “can’t let her turn eighteen,” and that “the darkness is coming for her,” and that it’s “all his fault,” and then crashes his car and kills her. Not a good birthday present. Also, this story is not really related directly to the main story except to establish the fact that the whole “girl is going to turn eighteen, that is bad” thing has happened before to someone somewhere.
We are then introduced to Molly Hartley, who is another girl who is going to turn eighteen soon.
Molly and her dad are new in town. They moved here to get a new start after Molly’s mom tried to kill her because she thought she was going to turn into a demon (like the 90s girl and her dad, get it?) Molly has transferred to a new prep school, and in order to make her transition easier, they ask the most intensely disliked girl in school, who actively tries to proselytize and argues against the Bible being studied in Lit class because it’s “sacrilegious” to take her to all of her classes. In addition, she has a school counselor who is keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t start doing crazy things like her mom. Lame!
The situation is compounded by the fact that Molly just looks scared all the time, and has headaches and nosebleeds constantly, and even has visions of ravens sometimes. Scary shit, I know. After one really bad nosebleed, her dad comes into school and shouts at her in the hallway in front of all of her new classmates:
That is what he actually says, by the way.
Luckily, she manages to attract the attentions of Chace Crawford, who is the richest kid in town, despite the fact that both of her parents are crazy and she is a nosebleed-prone nerd. His girlfriend is not happy about it though, and she has really bad hair.
75% of the movie then proceeds as such:
I have a nosebleed. Do I hear whispers? Yes. I am scared!
Luckily for Molly, nothing really scary happens to her at all. Well, nothing demon-related. Her mom comes back to try to kill her again (the nurse at the hospital let her go because she believed her about Molly), and then Molly has to kill her, which is never fun. The flashback scene in which we see Molly’s mom try to kill her for the first time is a direct Carrie rip-off, even recycling some of Piper Laurie’s lines, which is not cool. Oh, there is also this moment that lasts about half of a second, during which all of their special effects budget was wasted:
At the end of the movie, Molly Hartley runs over to Chace Crawford’s house because she has been running around scared all day and has accidentally killed a few people. Chace Crawford and the school counselor were in on it the whole time though! They are apostates of Satan, or something evil like that! And now…the darkness is coming for Molly. She is going to turn 18. Uh oh. She will turn into something so vile, so horrifying, that her mom and another girl’s dad were willing to kill their children to prevent it from happening:
Oh, she also gets to date the attractive rich boy. I’m also going to guess that she doesn’t get gross nosebleeds anymore.
Scariness of anything that happens to Molly: 2/10
A promising opening sequence that could have been great but ended up just being a gift from her boyfriend: 5/10
Anne rating: 3.5/10
Here is the poster, it didn’t fit up top: