Movie Review: I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House
Posted April 11th, 2019 by Zelda
in a perpetual predicament
April 12th, 2019
I'm restless and this is what's occupying my mind. There an important emotional bit in my TBORAR wip that I'm supposed to be writing, but I'm distracted. Also I want practice making more serious critiques.
EDIT: I made this last night and have since written that important emotional bit. Yay!
Anyways; I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House. This review is guaranteed to be more interesting than the movie itself, not because I'm at all good at writing interesting reviews, but because this movie is soooo boring. It was more like a dramatic reading with a couple visual aids than a movie.
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING: This reviews spoils the entire movie. There's not much to spoil, and I recommened you just go ahead and read through the two minute plot summary rather than waste an hour and twenty-seven minutes watching the movie. But, you do you, if you don't want spoilers then go watch the movie and come back.
Genre: Horror (for nine year olds).
This movie was approximately 96% narration voiced over panning shots of a tidy house and a blurry woman, and lingering shots of the main character's face from different angles as she either stared vapidly into space or broke the fourth wall and stared directly into the camera. Occasionally the voice over blurred, and that's was interesting as it got because the narrator (our main character) had no inflection whatsoever. Her face also lacked inflection, I swear she vacillated between exactly two expressions for the entire movie, except for one spot that we'll touch on later; she was bored and indifferent, or she furrowed her brow a bit.
The plot went like so; A hospice nurse arrives at an ailing old horror writer's home, she stays for almost a year, pokes at one of the horror stories on the writer's bookshelf, and talks to the property owner about some mold that's bothering her. Then she sees a ghost, screams, and drops dead. The end.
If you want to be more specific, these things also happened:
- The ghost yanks on her phone chord, once.
- The MC fails to make the TV work; sees a ghost reflection in the blank screen.
- The MC reads exactly one page of a horror novel, then rubs the back page and finds it strange when a small black dot rubs off onto her finger.
- The MC drops some berries, and then hallucinates her arms being moldy. This never happens again and the black dot never reappears.
- The MC is freaked out that her dementia patient is saying weird stuff about a character from a book that said patient wrote.
- The MC finds a moldy box full of stuff that suggests the character from the book is real. She closes the box and never looks at it again.
- The Mold on the wall gets worse.
Then she sees a ghost, screams, and drops dead. And there's some extra bit at the end where she goes and creeps on the old woman's ghost. The original ghost never makes a reappearance, and a new family moves into the house for the MC to stare at. The end.
I only wish I was exaggerating.
During a brief google search, I found one article from a site called 'Mashable', praising this film as a genius feminist film that critics just didn't understand. "And those not interested in the new trend of horror movies focusing on women's experiences will likely agree with the critics who accuse the film of being empty and devoid of any real substance."
To this I say: Garbage! Critics accuse this film of being empty and devoid because it is. It is not a subversive, clever film that creeps under your skin and makes you think about society; it's a bunch of staring and artfully blurry shots. And yes, I can see the points that Mashable makes. I'm sure this movie was intended to deliver a message about the horrors of being a... middle class white woman. Uh. Anyways, the point is, there's enough to glean from the movie that it does sort of seem like it was meant to be the next Yellow Wallpaper. But all of that is defeated by the facts that the plot is dead and the slow, unending narra-house-tour makes me wish I was dead.
There was a chair upside down on the kitchen wall. I don't know what that chair was for, but it was one of the creepier parts of the movie. Admittedly I don't think it was intended to be creepy.
The moldy arms hallucination was interesting, I would have liked to see more of it.
As impossibly boring as the narration was, it also happened to be very well written. It had beautiful flow and it set the tone exceptionally well. As an intro? Amazing. As an outro? Decent.
The setting itself is well done.
What was that chair for?
What was the point of the black dot?
The narrator spends the majority of her time drilling one important detail into our skulls, and when I say drilling I mean oil-rig style. I could not forget this information if I took my brain from my skull and stored it in acid for a year. This extremely, totally necessary, unavoidable detail is; she walked into the house alive and never left because she neglected to see the ghost sooner. She never. stops. repeating. this. Except to remind you about the ghost, who also walked into the house and never left. Because, you know, parallelism or whatever. The teeny tiny smidge of remaining space that the narrator has left to, well, narrate, she uses to briefly tell us that if a house has a ghost in it, that house legally permanently irrevocably belongs to the ghost, and if you buy it in the human world they just, like, let you chill for a bit because they're nice.
The movie apparently forgot that the ghost (whose story we hear a lot of) died naked, and instead showed a scene implying she died fully clothed. Petticoats, dress, gloves. Everything.
I'm not entirely sure what killed the MC. I wasn't looking at the screen when she first started screaming, so I backed up and rewatched it (out of the corner of my eye because even with the screaming I wasn't terribly interested). The only thing that happened was the ghost appeared at the top of the stairs. Did she have a heart attack? Did the mold eat her lungs? What happened there?!
Overall: This film was not terrible, it was in fact well done in terms of cinematography and story-telling. Very rarely did I stop to question the story, and I never had a moment of 'wow, this movie is so bad it's hilarious'. I kind of wish that I did though, because at least then the movie would have fulfulled it's purpose of being entertaining.
Final score: 3/10
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