One year ago, Agnes Rickover attended opening night at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride to see her best friend Lily's dramatic debut. A horrific accident resulted in Agnes witnessing ...
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One year ago, Agnes Rickover attended opening night at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride to see her best friend Lily's dramatic debut. A horrific accident resulted in Agnes witnessing Lily's fiery death in a spectacle gone wrong. After a year of obsessing over a murder investigation everyone else thinks is open and shut, Agnes goes to work at the Haunt in an attempt confront her trauma. Horrific events begin to claim the lives of her coworkers and Agnes must figure out what is behind all of the "accidents" before more people die.Written by
A year after her best friend Lilly was roasted in a freak accident at The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride, Agnes reluctantly takes a job at the yearly Halloween attraction's concession stand. But before the park even opens, the bodies begin to pile up, so Agnes seeks to find a connection to Lilly's death and the new string of murders.
I went into "The Bates Haunting" knowing virtually nothing about it, expecting the absolute worst... and was pleasantly surprised by it. Don't get me wrong, this is unquestionably direct-to-video fare (bad acting and shoestring effects galore) but there's a slick look, a few decent performances (leading lady O'Sullivan ain't bad and Fletcher devours the scenery as semi-retarded redneck Junior Bates), lots of funny moments and one-liners, a little T&A, some gore (though there's an annoyingly high ratio of old-school cutaways in lieu of practical/CGI effects) and a nice twist (not unpredictable but unexpected). Casual moviegoers will doubtlessly hate it, but the film's quirky enough that it could develop a small cult following.
If you're seeking a big connection to the Universal-owned Norman Bates "Psycho" franchise (as the cover suggests), you'll be utterly disappointed... though there's more than a couple references to Norman/Mother and the basic plot is the same as Robert Bloch's novel "Psycho House" (murders occur at the opening of a Bates Motel theme park attraction). It's really a shame that they didn't utilize that book's story - it would've made a much better movie. "Jackass" fans will also be disappointed by the blink-and-you-missed-it appearance of Bam Margera (in a real commercial for the park?) and a mildly amusing but only slightly longer scene with the late Ryan Dunn as an annoyed customer in an empty pizza place.
In the end, "The Bates Haunting" is a thinly-veiled commercial for the Pennsylvania tourist attraction (presumably starring local actors) which features shockingly little of the park, but if you're in a frame of mind to enjoy an innocuous low-budget horror-comedy, there are certainly much worse ways to waste 75 minutes of your life.
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