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Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
This film goes in the same category of greatness as 'House of the Devil'. It brilliantly recreates the haunted house genre of the late 70s/early 80s. Even the camera work and mise en scene is incredibly accurate. The attention to detail is incredible. Even the b-roll shots are careful to prevent capturing any road signs or lawn ornaments that wouldn't have existed during the time period. I've viewed this movie several times and each time, I find myself stopping it to confirm that it truly is a modern film. That's how accurate the period elements are. They are careful to restrain themselves from bringing in any kitsch though, which is impressive. Too often filmmakers and showrunners rely too heavily on kitsch ('Stranger Things' is guilty of this, while 'That 70s Show' did it intentionally). Even the actors makeup looks the way it did in 70s films. Wardrobe, hair, home furnishings, etc. All have the vibe. Then there are all the other horror elements necessary to a film set in this period. The creepy man who knows a little too much about the house, the subtle nods to the misogyny of the era, turtlenecks, cocktail carts, smoking inside, hippies and squares co-mingling, and of course creepy small town folk who don't take to outsiders. But the film takes all of this, embraces it, celebrates it, and finds a fresh story to tell using these plot devices. It's an artful film and easy to admire if you have an appreciation for film. The acting is incredible, as is the dialogue and character development. I wish it were a tad longer, but I'm not sure what they would add in to achieve that. This is just a selfish want on my part because I have so much fun watching this one. There are plenty of comedic elements included too. So if you enjoy your horror with a side of humor, as I do, you won't be disappointed.
- People in Essex County do not have southern accents. Unless they came up from the designated southern accent areas of the country.
- A house built in 1859 is not old in these parts...1758 or 1640, yes. 1859? That's a house still in its toddler stage.
- The house has a basement. With a mysterious gap in the foundation wall. Of course it does.
- There's a ball that rolls down the stairs. Just for once, couldn't we have a soup tureen? A Dustbuster? A box of crackers? A Roman Soldier? Let's mix it up people.
- There are a lot of creepy towns out this way, no denying that. But they tend to like it when people buy their food, drink their liquor, shop in their stores...we just love a good tourist. Not for dinner. Or for a sacrificial burning on the back lawn. (see above bullet point, re: ball.)
- Monte Markham. I just had to say it again.
- It is more timely than might be expected. The old newspaper mentions a quarantine of the town.
Thank God this was an Amazon Prime movie, otherwise I'd be on my knees weeping at the riverbank out back, begging the universe to please give me my money back. I'll do anything - just don't make me watch this movie again.
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2019
I'm very picky about horror movies and will generally turn one off if it doesn't make me intrigued within about oh, 20 minutes - if I get a hint of boredom, then I click on out.
I can't claim this to be some amazingly awesome horror movie that terrified me (those are few and far between), but, I wasn't bored, and it kept my interest up through the end, and even through the credits. That's kinda rare in itself, so, my verdict is it's worth a watch, especially if you've run through all the horror movies on other streaming platforms and need a "fix."
I hate horror movies where the “villain” can kill at will, but can’t kill the main characters. I get it. Their son was supposedly there, but their guests son was dead in the house too. It seems like the rules they placed on this movie contradicts themselves. Plus the backstory is so weak and unbelievable. I don’t mean that it isn’t possible, I mean they were not able to “sell” the concept to me.
A modestly fun throwback horror film, though the bulk of its run time feels to be merely in service of its climax. The last 15-20 minutes of this film are pretty great, blood-soaked entertainment that recall the practical effects horror era. The film as a whole though ends up feeling slight and skeletal. I'm generally a fan of slow burn horror that builds to an explosive climax, but the simplicity of the story and overall flatness of the characters gave the build an inert quality that didn't generate as much intrigue as it could have. There was also an over reliance on jump scares for the first two acts, which is never a preference of mine and felt a bit at odds with the throwback quality of the film. Still, there's fun to be had here and the climax of the film mostly justifies the rest of it... mostly.
This is a good story that will chill a person to the core. It will raise the hair on the back of the neck several times. This movie will also make a person jump in their seat a few times. Furthermore, the scenery fits the story well, which quite frankly, the locations, and the house, give the story additional sense of creepiness and suspense.
On the other hand, a few scenes seem as if they are cut a bit short. Almost as if a few seconds are missing when something horrible happens which makes it appear as if something is purposely left out. The end is portrayed in the same manner as well.
However, the observations do not detract any suspense and creepiness factor from the movie, thereby making this an overall good movie to watch.
If you've watched a few horror movies you come into a haunted house movie with a fairly clear idea of what is going to happen, and it probably will. This one in particular excels in a way similar to "The Orphanage": It's spooky, yes, with a good mix of tension scares and jump scares, but it also has a very interesting story and puzzle that leaves you wondering and inspires your imagination. Very well recommended!
The characters in this movie are very well-written and there is some sense of atmosphere in some scenes. There is also some sense of loss in some later scenes when bad things start happening to these people.
This movie is also supposed to capture the capture the ideas used in some Lucio Fulci movies, which is particularly evident with a scene in a car.
this was converted into 3d in germany. So the 3d is not the strongest. However the movie is a good horror film that I saw in Denver, colorado. This version is uncut and that makes it even better as a family moves into a haunted house that filled with vengful spirits . The nearby town wants them there so that they can escape the wrath of the spirits. This is a gory horror film and it is quite well done. Unlike many low budget horror films this one never lets you down. If you are going to buy it , you might as well get the 3d version it does add dome depth to the film.