Horror thriller ‘Havenhurst’ will make you think twice about staying at a Gothic hotel

Evil Lives Here


After watching the trailer for Havenhurst, I was on the fence whether to see it. Don’t get me wrong, it looked awesome, but I’ve seen a lot of horror flicks in the last few years about houses or hotels, and most never really live up to the hype. But I love the star, Julie Benz, who played Rita on one of my favorite horror shows, Dexter, and decided to give it a go. Havenhurst did not disappoint and I loved entering into the eerie, evil house full of secrets.

From the press release: “Welcome to Havenhurst, a gothic apartment complex in the heart of New York City. A beautifully maintained, turn-of-the-century building that houses over 3,000 residents and countless dark secrets. The rent is what you can afford and the rules are simple: live a decent life and you can stay forever. Break the rules and there are consequences.”

Oh, and consequences there are! But let’s go to the beginning. We start the movie seeing a young couple, nervous, using drugs and not having the best day. We get some immediate gore, a great cameo from Scream Queen Danielle Harris, who (and I’m trying to keep this spoiler free) let’s just say did not follow the rules and was effectively evicted from her apartment. Cut to Jackie, (played by Benz) who is an alcoholic just getting out of rehab. We soon learn that she is dealing with the guilt of being responsible for her own daughter’s death and is right on the edge of going back to her old drunken ways. Jackie is given a second chance in the form of an apartment at Havenhurst for as long as she wants, depending on whether she can follow the rules.


Havenhurst itself is run by a creepy and super wealthy woman named Eleanor, played by Fionnula Flanagan (horror fans will remember her from The Others) who has made it her life’s work to provide a home for people who have failed and are on their way to recovery. One of the problems with her is that she doesn’t give second chances and she watches everybody carefully, if not legally. We quickly figure out that the giant house is not what it seems and our sadistic hostess has a lot of secrets literally hiding in the walls. Remember the old adage; If it seems too good to be true, it probably is? Well that is Havenhurst.


Director Andrew C. Erin and co-writer Daniel Farrands, bring us their version of the real-life serial killer H.H. Holmes, who was suspected to have killed over 200 people in the late 1800s. His house of torture in Chicago was documented in the book “Devil in the White City” (soon to be a feature film starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and I liked the way they brought him into this film.


Back at Havenhurst, when Jackie moves in, she realizes she has been given the same apartment as her friend Danielle. (Harris) Danielle left personal items behind and then vanished mysteriously. Jackie decides she needs to find out what happened to her friend and uses a map of the house Danielle was drawing and photos she took, to help learn the secrets of the Gothic manor. She enlists help from an old friend who is a NYC cop (Josh Stamberg) and a young foster girl (Belle Shouse) who lives in the apartment down the hall from her. Unfortunately, she is still an alcoholic, breaks the rules and things go from bad to worse from there.

Havenhurst has a great twist ending which is not 100% a surprise, but is still pretty cool. The movie is really well crafted and kept my attention the whole time. There was a little left to the imagination and I can see the possibility of there being a part two. The house itself is one of the main characters and it is gorgeous. I loved the cinematography and the vintage feel. The house seemed real to me and you could almost feel it breathing. Many scenes left me breathless and very claustrophobic.

All in all, Havenhurst is a really great horror film and I can’t wait to see it soon on the big screen. If you are in the Los Angeles area, Havenhurst will premiere at the Laemmle Music Hall on Feb 10th and run there through Feb 16th, 2017Other showings will include week long theatrical runs in San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Kansas City and Phoenix. Nationwide, Havenhurst will be available on Cable VOD and Digital HD platforms, including Charter Spectrum, Comcast, DirecTV Cinema, Dish, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu and more.

For more info on Havenhurst- please check out their Facebook Page.

Los Angeles Theatrical Release:
Friday, February 10, 2017
Laemmle Music Hall 
9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


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  • Horror Director Andrew C. Erin talks about the film ‘Havenhurst’
    17 February 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

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