The Haunting of Sharon Tate: The Malignant Feigning of a Tragedy

The plot of the Haunting of Sharon Tate is set in the final few days of Sharon Tate’s life where she has visions and nightmares of her murder carried out by the Manson family.

I had a friend (who hasn’t seen the movie) read the plot synopsis, and he was immediately repulsed. So one could only imagine the experience of sitting through something like this. This is a translucent contender for the ‘Worst Movie of 2019’ as far as I’m concerned.

The Haunting of Sharon Tate was repellent. This movie is morally reprehensible. I’m in disbelief at its intentions and I’m gob-smacked at what it has done with this horrific tragedy.

This movie takes the real-life murders and defiles them in the form of a cheap, schlocky, generic, clichéd horror movie. At first it leans towards the supernatural but then it ultimately morphs into a slasher: a slasher that decided to rewrite history, a slasher that decided to rewrite history and then contradict that intention by throwing a twist in that will leave you enraged if you are familiar with the history of what happened to these people. This ending is on another plane of bad taste, not worth the write.

Cheap, schlocky, generic, clichéd horror movies that are prevalent this century tend to have these elements in common: bad jump scares, wanton dialogue, epitomising clichés through a prosaically thin plot. The jump scares in this movie are unbearably cheap. I couldn’t stand the loud sounds that accompanied the imagery.

The dialogue feels so repulsively dissonant, and the moments that revolve around the theme of ‘fate’ come from nowhere and felt so jarring. The plot has Sharon losing her mind and seeing things that aren’t there; she unfairly insinuates that her friends are conspiring against her with the Manson family, and there is an insulting over-abundance of dream sequences – one of the most malignant clichés in filmic art.

Despite her best efforts, Hilary Duff’s portrayal of the titular role is stridently monotonous. Her relationships with the supporting cast feel contrived. Her own scenic objectives follow an abrasive pattern in the form of crying, screaming and ablative accusations. I can’t blame Duff entirely; I could tell that she tried, but Daniel Farrands's atrocious script inhibits her from realising the character. Ultimately, the characterisation just feels rudimentary and underdeveloped.

I’m surprised that I even have the words to write about this movie. I’m simply disgusted by the moxie it has. On a technical level, it’s incompetent. Why this movie struck a chord with me is simple: historical fiction is very necessary in film. Re-writing history and portraying it in the vein of a veritably defunct cash-grabbing slasher horror will easily offend.

The lack of respect exuded by writer/director Daniel Farrands's approach not only deprives the movie of scares and atmosphere; it dishonours the dead for money. It’s despicable filmmaking. I hate it. Steer clear!

Written by Seán Mac G.

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