The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Molly Hartley looks to put her troubled past behind her with a fresh start at a new school, where she sparks with one of the most popular students. But can her secrets stay buried, especially as she learns more about the horrific truth that awaits her once she turns 18?

  • The bright atheist teenager Molly Hartley moves from Boston to the Huntington Prep to start a new life with her father Robert Hartley. Her mother Jane stabbed her on the chest trying to kill her and now she is confined in the Clayton Mental Institution, and Molly wants to forget her past. In her new school, Molly befriends the outcast religious girl Alexis White but sooner the popular Joseph Young flirts with her and she despises Alexis. On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Molly's mother escapes from the asylum and explains to her that she died in the delivery. However, a woman promised to revive her but her soul would belong to the devil that would collect on her eighteenth birthday. Molly runs to the Christian Community Center seeking salvation, but would it be possible?

  • A girl with PTSD attempts to refresh her life at a new school, but soon finds it impossible when she's afflicted by not only bullying and bad memories, but also the supernatural.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A young woman walking through the woods following a trail marked by string. She gets a little nervous because during her walk she keeps hearing strange noises. At the end of the trail is an old house. The girl is Laurel Hartley and its 1997. Once inside she looks around and is surprised by her boyfriend, who presents her with a heart shaped necklace as an early 18th birthday gift. Laurels father shows up to take her home and on the way they fight over the fact that Laurel wants to marry her boyfriend. Suddenly her father apologizes to her and puts his hand over a bible as he starts to drive recklessly. Laurel struggles with her father, finally managing to stop the car, only for them to be struck by a semi. As they lay injured, her father keep tells her he can't let her turn 18.

    Cut to the present where a young girl walks into a bathroom to find her mother on the floor praying. She begs her daughter Molly to pray with her until the young woman finally cedes. As they kneel there praying, her mother raises a pair of scissors. However, before the scissors meet Molly's body, she wakes up.

    Over breakfast, Molly discusses her new prep school and her mother's absence with her father.

    At school, Molly meets with the new principle and learns she will have an appointment with the counselor. The camera focuses on her records to show that they are sealed. Molly is shown to her new classes by Alexis, a very religious girl there on scholarship, and meets some of the other students. During lunch Molly begins to hear things and runs to the bathroom where she suffers a nosebleed. She starts hearing noises and begins to have a panic attack. It ends when a girl walks out of the stall saying she can't hide in there forever, she has tried. Molly ends up skipping her counselor session and walks around outside school. Joseph Young, one of the other students she met earlier, finds her and offers a ride but she turns him down.

    At home over dinner, Molly is pretty morose. She and her father discuss their day. Molly explains to her father that she is worried about her mother's capability to get out of the psychiatric hospital. She excuses herself to go do homework. During the night she has another nightmare about her mother trying to kill her.

    Later on, in class the students receive bibles because they are reading Paradise Lost and the teacher wants them to better understand the story. Alexis, who has her own bible with her, argues with the teacher over using the bible as a text. Molly's nose starts bleeding again suddenly and the teacher excuses her so that she can go take of the issue. In the bathroom she has another attack and is found by Alexis who has brought her a shirt.

    Molly has a session with a counselor. They discuss her mother's condition and how her mother stabbed her. Molly isn't really into the session and leaves, but not before the counselor gives her a card with her number. As she leaves, she notices the same girl that was in the bathroom, was now waiting for her own session with the counselor.

    Later on in the Library, Joseph finds her reading about her mother's mental state and offers her a ride again, which she accepts. As they are walking in the halls Molly's father shows and up and wants to know what is wrong. Molly walks outside where, in her father's car she finds a visitors pass for the hospital where her mother is kept.

    Later that night as she is getting ready for bed, she hears the water running in the bathroom. She goes to turn it off and the door suddenly slams shut and locks. She panics and screams out calling for her father. However the door remains steadfastly shut, because neither of them can open it. She passes out.

    Molly wakes up in the hospital to be told that they found a tumor in her nasal cavity near her brain, which could explain her symptoms. Later on Alexis visits her, asking her if she has been saved and mentions a relative who is a nurse. She gives Molly a teen devotional bible, which Molly shoves in a drawer.

    Back at school Joseph corners her and asks her to attend a party. After he walks away, a girl named Susie gives her hard time, till Leah butts in and breaks it up. Leah decides to join Molly at the party. Molly tells her father she is going to a study group and might be home late. She is told to keep her phone on her. Leah picks her up and drives her during which Molly and Leah share their stories.

    Once at the party they separate and Molly goes to hang and dance with Joseph. As he leaves to deal with a problem, Susie picks a fight with Molly, which ends with Molly breaking her arm. Leah refuses to leave the party and drive her home, so Molly hops the gate and walks home. When Molly's cell phone starts malfunctioning, she stops a payphone and calls her father. Molly starts seeing her mother who keeps telling her she knows what she is. Molly runs from her only to see her disappear. Molly's father arrives to pick her up and take her home.

    Later on Molly tries to apologize to Susie but she won't accept it. Suzie tells Molly she 'knows who she is'. Joseph arrives and tries to find out what is wrong but Molly runs off.

    At home she calls her father and tries to relax. However, the moment she starts to calm down, her mother shows up again this time with a blade. She tells Molly that she died the day she was born and that someone came forth and offered to bring her back. Having lost children before, her parents agreed on the condition that Molly belonged to them once she turned 18. They fight through the house. In defense, Molly shoves her away and her mother is thrown over the stairs to her death. Her father arrives and tries to tell Molly what her mother said isn't true. Molly hits him over the head and runs off.

    She ends up at a Christian center where Alexis works. Molly begs Alexis for help saying she doesn't have much time left, because she turns 18 the next day. Alexis takes her to a church to be baptized. During the baptism, Alexis tells her that a relative told her Molly's story and she tries to drown her. In the struggle Alexis hits her head and drowns. Leah shows up looking for Molly, but only finds her father there.

    Molly runs off and runs into Joseph who offers to take her away. At his house while wafting, Molly tries to call her counselor but can't reach her. She goes inside and finds Joseph waiting with a birthday cake and a knife. Molly keeps begging to leave. Her counselor shows up saying she didn't get the message Molly left for her.

    She finds out then that the counselor is the one who offered Molly's parents the deal. The counselor says that soon Molly will have great power and that she is 'the one'. Molly says she doesn't want the power. When her counselor offers her deal, Molly 's father is brought into the room. Molly is handed the knife and given a chance to kill her father for the deal she was offered. As the clock strikes midnight, Molly stabs herself instead. However, because she did it before the chimes finished tolling, she is spared.

    Later, Molly at a mental hospital talking to a doctor about her father's condition. Molly doesn't want anything to do with him. At her graduation she gives the valedictorian speech and leaves with Joseph in a car. The counselor wishes her good luck when they drive off.

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