Welcome back, scary movie lovers! I’m back with another scary movie review, this time coming from Netflix. Summer vacation is a perfect time for movie-watching, and I found some really good ones to enjoy. (Also some not-so-good ones.)
For these reviews, I’m gonna play around with the review format a bit and try some new things. Maybe they’ll stick and maybe not!
I’ve got lots of reviews to get through this summer, so let’s get started.
At its core, this movie is about a haunted house, like so many others. And while the twist isn’t original (I’ve seen it done multiple times in the last few years), it is effective.
Not A Slowburner
I had a hard time deciding what type of suspense this movie is going for. It’s not a typical, slowburning horror film. There’s definitely creepy vibes all around the house, stemming mostly from the husband. At the start, you’re unsure who is in what role, who is innocent. So it’s unsettling.
Even Though It’s Unsettling…
The story progresses in a fairly predictable way. If you’ve seen The Boy (you really should), then you’ll catch on quick to what’s really going on. This movie tries a similar stunt, but there’s a lot less emotional pull to it, and the creepy factor is turned down (despite them trying very, very hard to turn it up).
This movie is basically The Boy if you took out the Gothic setting and shoved in some marital strife, so take that as you will. (See below: marital strife).
I write books (did y’know?) so I think I’m qualified to say this: (not really but I’m going to anyway)
This movie is badly written.
Like most Netflix-original horror movies (I’ve seen too many), the movie suffers from 1 or 2 glaring faults, while the rest is great. In this movie, that glaring fault is the writing.
I’m not just talking plot holes, though there are plenty. I’m not just talking weird, forced dialogue or Disney-channel character depth. This movie… tries to be funny, and I guess the comedy aspect of it is original.
In the sense that it’s weird, not effective, and offputting.
Things are left unexplained that probably should’ve been. And guess what? Remember how The Stepfather had an awful cliffhanger at the end that made me laugh out loud? Well, this movie also has a cliffhanger, and it’s almost as dumb as that one.
This movie is almost memorable.
Say what? Even after all those negatives?
Yeah, it’s almost memorable. Like I said, it just feels too similar to The Boy. Too easy to predict. And sure, the “bad guy” is creepy in some ways. He has some nice attack moments, some jump scares. But he just doesn’t… quite… stick.
In the movie, the characters themselves move on very quickly from the terrifying events, and people act as if nothing ever happened. (Like I said, bad writing.) Coincidentally, that’s how I felt at the end of the movie. Like nothing ever happened.
Seriously, though. If I have to watch one more predictable, obvious, stupid cliffhanger for a movie that will never get a sequel, I’m gonna give them all 0’s and lump them with Krampus.
This is actually a good movie at times. Other times it’s a total mess. So that makes it a fun watch, if nothing else. Riding the pendulum between “Oh!” and *visibly cringes*
Pros: some nice jump scares, creepy villain scenes, rooting for the husband to die
Cons: everything else….
So just watch this with some friends and make fun of it. Sometimes lackluster horror movies are the most enjoyable, or at least the easiest to watch. Like I said, you’ll barely remember it.