In ‘Haunter,’ Abigail Breslin finally appears in her favorite genre

Former child star Abigail Breslin plays a ghostly teen in "Haunter." Credit: Getty Images
Former child star Abigail Breslin plays a ghostly teen in “Haunter.”
Credit: Getty Images

Abigail Breslin has been acting since she was 6, and has spent those 11 years exploring nearly every genre. But the “Little Miss Sunshine” Oscar nominee says her favorite, at least to watch, is horror. “I’m a huge horror movie junkie,” she says, then rattles off some of her favorites, from classics like “The Shining” and the original “The Evil Dead” to newbies like “The Conjuring.” “I love things that make you a little bit terrified to be alone,” she says, laughing.

It was inevitable that she would wind up in one herself. “I’ve always wanted to do something in the genre, but I wanted to find the right thing, that was scary but smart and clever.” (By the way, technically “Signs,” her debut, was an alien invasion picture and “Zombieland” more comedy than horror.)

That film wound up being “Haunter,” which hits VOD on Friday (and theaters in NYC). Made by “Cube” and “Splice” director Vincenzo Natali — who knows a thing or two about being smart and clever, as well as funny — it’s a ghost story that starts where something like “The Others” leaves off. Breslin plays Lisa, a teenager who’s dead — killed along with the rest of her family. They live a “Groundhog Day”-style existence, constantly reliving their final day, but only Lisa has come to realize she’s dead.

“When I read this I thought it was so interesting and complicated,” Breslin says. “There was a real story behind it and real emotional life of the characters. And it was kind of hard to follow, which is always fun in a horror movie.” Indeed, the twisty film, which also has elements of dark comedy and even sci-fi, finds Lisa trying to stop the demon who murdered them (played by Stephen McHattie) from killing another family.

But she was most drawn to the character. “I saw her as a kind of typical teenage girl — apart form the fact that she’s dead — who would be annoyed at everything. It’s sad in a way. There’s a real sadness to the character.”

Breslin spends a lot of the film alone, and the film creates a sense of extreme isolation. Shooting at night — usually from early evening to first thing in the morning — helped get her in the mood. “We were in a studio the whole shoot,” she recalls. “We didn’t even see the light of day most of the time. It was a weird, weird feeling. The only time I’d see people was when I’d go to Starbucks for lunch.”

This also means she’s often acting by herself. “I was working mostly alone,” she says. “I would get the call sheet the next day and sometimes there would be one other name on the call sheet. I’d go, ‘Yes, I get to work with a person!’”

One of the more unusual aspects of the film is that Lisa was killed in 1986, meaning she has to live the ‘80s in perpetuity. What did Breslin think of a decade she missed by at least six years? “It was an interesting time,” she says. “The clothing was just… terrible. Absolutely wretched.”

She did get to learn about the pain of working a Rubik’s Cube. “I spent so long trying to figure out how I could actually do it in one scene, while delivering dialogue. The crew just said, ‘Abby, give it up.’”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…