Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Bates Haunting (2012)

The best thing about this movie is the cover.  Based on the title,  the house resembling Norman Bates home in Psycho - there's even a woman with a knife silhouetted on the second floor - and the description that states this movie takes place at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride, it was reasonable to assume this has something to do with the Psycho house and motel.  But no, there is actually a family named Bates who run a haunted hayride on the East Coast, and the movie takes place there. So it's kind of a neat way of advertising their haunted attraction.  I say kind of because the movie is pretty bad and they barely show any of the haunt. So in a sense it's not much advertising at all.

A year after Agnes saw her best friend Lily die in an accident while working at the hayride, she is still a mess with a bad attitude.  She dropped out of college, can't keep a job, and doesn't care about anything but her friend Clyde and getting high.

Her Dad, who is also the Sheriff, figures it would be a great idea for her to get over this whole traumatic best-friend-burned-to-death-in-front-of-her-eyes thing So he gets her a job at the haunted hayride in the merchandise booth.  Agnes has a bad attitude about everything so she's not too pleased with this turn of events, but for some reason goes along with her Dad's plan.

Her new boss, Junior, seems a bit retarded, but it's not clear if he really is supposed to be or it's just the way the actor played the part.  As Junior shows her around the farm, she meets some of the haunts cast members who invite her to a party that night. They have one every year prior to opening day.

Agnes invites Clyde so he can help her check out the big dragon head which burned Lily to death a year ago. No one shall ask why she thinks examining a giant prop a year later will yield any clues to whether Lily was murdered or it was a tragic accident.

When two people are murdered at the cast party, Agnes wants the haunt shut down. But her Dad shushes her since the town depends on the haunt and tomorrow is opening day and a little death isn't any reason to shut the place down. Public safety be damned!

Why someone is killing people at the long running attraction.  Is it retarded Junior?  Is it the drunken dragon operator who's just been released from jail after serving time for frying Lily?  Is it a random stranger?  Do we care?  Slightly, but once you find out who it is, it won't make any sense due to the long term ramifications.

The movie has cameos by Ryan Dunn and Bam Margera.  Ryan plays a guy waiting forty minutes for a pizza, and Bam opens the movie by doing a commercial for the haunted hayride. Yup, no point to either of these.  Then there's the music which sounds like something out of a cartoon or sitcom whenever someone says a line that's supposed to be funny.  It's out of place and makes the dialogue even more awkward since it's not that funny to begin with.  I guess the one thing about the movie that worked is I did look up their haunted attraction.  So their movie/advertising sort of worked.

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