Day 26: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

As I mentioned yesterday, I saw quite a few movies during my various hiatuses from the blog. Originally, I wasn’t planning on writing them up as it didn’t fit with my original conceit (i.e. Netflix Roulette posts mixed with Classics Revisited and In “Theaters” Now). However, my experience writing up the V/H/S series nearly a month after watching them made me reconsider. There’s something to be said for reflecting on a movie to see what sticks and what doesn’t. Therefore, expect some of these shorter write-ups mixed in with trailers and other random posts.

So, the first movie I’m going to write-up came from one of those “10 Best Horror Movies on… yada yada yada” lists. I have a close friend who, when we are hanging out for the night, tends to fall back on watching horror movies. If we don’t come into the evening with a specific movie picked out, we’ll often spend most of our time together flipping through Netflix and then eventually giving up. Therefore, we’ve learned to rely quite heavily on these lists. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t… but, generally, the success rate is (at least a bit) higher than the miss rate. So, the last time we watched a horror movie we settled on I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.

I’m just going to start at the end (not the end of the film, mind you (by now you know that I tend to avoid spoilers as much as possible)): I absolutely hated this movie. I’m not sure why the filmmakers thought they could take what ends up being a pretty straight-forward haunted house story, remove all the scares, and add as much pretentiousness as possible and end up with an effective horror movie. It’s not even an effective art-house movie… it seems like a film-school thesis project from a student who barely squeaked by with a passing grade. Okay… that was rough… In fact, I think that may be the harshest I’ve ever been on the blog. It even took me by surprise… that was not the sentence I was expected when I started writing it. I honestly forgot most of this film, but after reflecting on it, all the boredom and anger came flooding back and I had to dump it out on the page (I seriously considered going back and re-writing those sentences, but that feels dishonest).

If I had to say something positive about the film, Ruth Wilson, the star of the movie (and from Luthor fame) is effective… unfortunately, the filmmaker (writer/director Osgood Perkins (booooooo!)) didn’t give her much to work with.

One last thing… if you’re like me, you probably expect something to happen with the chair that’s hanging on the wall in the kitchen. For some reason, the filmmaker (booooooo, again, Osgood!) makes it a focal point in several scenes… well (and, minor spoiler, here) don’t waste your time waiting for something that never happens.

Obviously, I can’t recommend this movie. However, if you’re looking for an artsy and effective horror movie, check out The Witch from 2015 (and written up on this blog).

Also, don’t worry, most of my other reflections will be more positive.

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