In 1986, Lisa (Abigail Breslin) seems like a normal teenager, bored with the routine of her family and her repetitive daily life. But we quickly learn that her life is truly repeating, day after day, like an unfunny version of GROUNDHOG'S DAY. She also hears a ghost-like voice of a girl and discovers a strange door in the wall of the basement downstairs. When she tries to break the routine something disturbing happens. Her father, Bruce (Peter Outerbridge of ReGENESIS) acts out of character, smoking at breakfast and being extremely angry. In each daily loop he had been trying to fix the family car so they can go out to dinner and celebrate Lisa's birthday the next day--but in this instance he does on a rampage, insisting that his wife or daughter removed and hid the spark plugs.
Lisa discovers that her family are ghosts and that something in this house is holding them captive by keeping them in this repetitive scene. If she plays her role and doesn't rock the boat, things go back to normal, with a nice father and happy family. The voice she hears turns out to be that of a girl in the present day named Olivia. Her father is not acting like himself. Lisa does some investigating and discovers that the man who lived in the house before her family moved in was a serial killer (Stephen McHattie of PONTYPOOL, 300) and hid the bodies down in a secret cellar beneath the house. Even as a ghost he's deadly because he possessed Lisa's father and killed her family. Now, he's going to do the same to Olivia's. It's up to Lisa to break the cycle and save her human friend.
Sure, there are elements of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THE OTHERS and MANIAC, but it's hard getting away from comparisons with the horror genre. HAUNTERS is the best horror movie of 2014. It's well-written and acted, suspenseful and will make you jump several times. Directed by Vincenzo Natali (SPLICE, CUBE). Highly recommended.