|08.06.12||Netflix|| James Wan and Leigh Whannel tell a non-saw story that doesn't completely suck. Sorry to start it off this way but I still remember how much I hated Death Sentence and how ridiculous Dead Silent or whatever that ventriloquist dummy movie looks so I had more or less completely written these guys off. Instead they deliver a very classical horror movie that I honestly like more the more I think about it.|
A family thinks their house is haunted when their kid falls into a coma and they start seeing ghosties. A lot of it veers pretty close to Poltergeist, which in my mind stands as one of the all-time scariest best horror movies ever, and sometimes falls short because of that similarity but for the most part manages to differentiate itself enough to stand alone. There are a few things like... you have to be ok with music stings and "cheap" scares to like this movie, but also some genuinely creepy imagery that has stayed with me until the next day.
I feel like if I had written this note last night I would've said "pretty good with a really stupid ending" and called it good but since sleeping on it I have to give the film some more credit because it has stayed with me more than I thought it would. It's kind of a weird mix because I thought a lot of the stuff they did could've been done better but still works as is. Like the old lady in the photographs. It's SO on the nose that you could almost laugh at it... certainly nothing close to the Slender Man photos online with how it takes a second to see him and somehow that's even more creepy... but then they show the photo with her hand and I was like "ok, yeah. that works." The same goes for pretty much every gag. Why the lady has to wear the gas mask is beyond me, but it makes for a pretty creepy scene nonetheless.
I also loved Whannel and the other dude's roles as the bumbly assistants. They perfectly fill the comic relief in the best way possible. Their constant bickering was pretty funny and really broke the constant tension and also called out some of the more ridiculous conventions being used... like the UV filter picture-viewer. Ridiculous "tool" but the execution of seeing the hallway in the different filters definitely worked for me.
Perhaps the biggest stretch was the ending, where the husband basically goes into Craig T. Nelson's TV to find marryann. It's really weak and vague and looks like a TV-budget set with a lot of smoke going on. I almost wish we didn't see any of that. Actually... yeah. I officially wish we stayed in the room with the wife and didn't see anything in the spirit world or whatever. That would have been awesome.
Anyway, I didn't think this was the best movie in years or anything like that so I should stop writing. i did like it though and thought it had some genuine scares. The music really brought a good tone to it I thought. The beginning scene and score basically said "hey! listen! this is a motherfucking horror movie. We're not disguising it! Let's go!" which i appreciate.