The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s “Foreshadowing: The Movie”! It’s the exploitative account of the last days of Sharon Tate, but with a lot of clunky foreshadowing thrown in to shove down our throats that Sharon Tate will and did die a horrible death. Characters sit around discussing fate, destiny, and alternate realities, Charles Manson shows up in the first ten minutes set to dramatic and very terrifying orchestral music, and Sharon Tate plays a fortune telling game with her friends asking in a child like pout “Will I Live a Long and Happy Life?”

Director Daniel Farrands brings us what is quite possibly one of the worst movies of 2019, it’s an exploitative, cheap, and genuinely insulting film that tries to position itself as some sort of dramatic interpretation of Sharon Tate’s final days in 1969. While Farrands could very well have just made a documentary, he instead tries to go for the whole canvas of film by depicting the final days of Sharon Tate and trying to mine some sort of horror element from it. Forget the fact that the grisly murders remain one of the most horrendous events in American history. To this day it’s still discussed with disgust and approached very carefully, but “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” never knows what to do with itself.

It wants to make us believe that perhaps Sharon Tate was given premonitions before her death, or perhaps her unborn baby, in some sense, tried to warn her of her imminent death. The mere inclination of any of the aforementioned is cringe inducing, but to also suggest that Sharon Tate’s death was all apart of the big grand scheme of things and just a product of fate leaves a bad after taste. Later one of the characters explains that our life is like a movie, “We write our own scripts.” So… Sharon Tate chose to die? Or was she destined to die? Either one is appalling to consider. Farrands seems to want to build this convincing true crime thriller that doubles as horror, but he can never get past the film’s grating tone, and poorly directed script. The movie feels like it had about thirty pages of script to work with and Farrands had to stretch it out in to ninety minutes.

From there he pads the film big time with a ton of scenes of vast scenic deserts, and big open spaces, and near endless fake out scares that turn in to dream sequences. To make things worse, Farrands places the dramatic weight of the whole film on Hillary Duff who simply isn’t skilled enough to take on a role of this depth or complexity. Every bit of dialogue Duff mutters is forced, while her performance often borders on absolutely schlocky. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” is an absolute waste of time. It offers no new insight on the horrendous murders that took place, forces this faux art house gloss, and exploits the Sharon Tate murders for an easy dollar and a cheap jump scare or two.