Havenhurst has a great cast and definite potential but doesn’t quite manage to leave a mark. Still, it does have an entertaining horror story!

Havenhurst horror movie posterHavenhurst is being marketed with the slam-dunk horror info “From the producers behind Saw and Amityville: The Awakening“. Well, okay, maybe Saw is the only real slam-dunk part. Still, it’s always a good way to get publicity.

For me, however, I think the cast is a lot more interesting; We’ve got Julie Benz, who play Dexter Morgan’s wife, Rita, on Dexter. I loved Dexter and I think Julie Benz tends to be pretty great in everything, so that was enough to get me interested. Havenhurst also features Fionnula Flanagan from The Others and Toby Huss (The Invitation).

Finally, we get Danielle Harris, who has featured in a whole slew of horror movies from Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot in 2009 to the Fear Clinic TV series.

Havenhurst is classic horror

In many ways, Havenhurst has all the elements of a classic horror story. And I do mean that in the best way. However, it always means we have to accept the more stereotypical parts of a “horror story”, which I could do without.

Mostly because it means guessing the next step becomes too easy. Not that I had guessed every plot twist from the get-go, but still. It just feels like it could’ve avoided a few of the more annoying stereotypes.

What really does work is the relationship between Jackie (Julie Benz) and her young neighbor, Sarah (Belle Shouse).

Havenhurst horror movie review - Belle Shouse

Their scenes together works effortlessly and you really feel for the girl. Julie Benz plays wonderfully off of Belle Shouse, who delivers some heartbreaking moments.

The part of the story about Sarah was perhaps the most realistic and scary elements.

Horror loving writer behind the story

The script for Havenhurst was written by director Andrew C. Erin and Daniel Farrands. While Farrands didn’t take part in directing this horror feature film, he has directed several horror documentaries. Among his work you’ll find Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, which he also wrote.

Havenhurst review - Julie Benz

As a director, Farrands has only done documentaries and mostly about horror classics like Friday the 13thA Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Basically, he’s a real horror fiend.

Havenhurst director, Andrew C. Erin, has worked extensively with directing TV movies. That’s not to say he hasn’t done anything else since he’s also worked with feature films and short films in general.

Still, I can’t help but think maybe a bit of the missing edge is from having made many productions specifically for TV in the past.

In any case, I do feel that Havenhurst is well worth your time. It’s a very decent horror movie with some great effects and impressive acting.

Actually, my only real issue with the movie is very specifically with substance abuse. Or rather how the movie doesn’t deal with this in a very realistic or healthy manor. I won’t spoil anything, but I’m sure you’ll know what I’m refering to, when you watch the movie. And you really should.

Havenhurst will be out in select theaters and on VOD from February 10, 2017.


Director: Andrew C. Erin
Writer: Andrew C. Erin, Daniel Farrands
Cast: Julie Benz, Fionnula Flanagan, Belle Shouse, Danielle Harris, Matt Lasky, Josh Stamberg, Dendrie Taylor, Toby Huss


A troubled young woman takes up residence in a gothic apartment building. Here she tries to find out what happened to her missing friend while confronting a terrifying evil.


I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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