Starring: Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty, Nadine Velasquez, Blake Jenner
Director: Phil Claydon
Michael Vartan (Alias) and Erin Moriarty (Captain Fantastic, Blood Father) are the stars in this fairly standard haunted house style horror. It starts with the classsic trope: family moves into a good house in a good neighbourhood that they can only afford because it’s going cheap. And why is it going cheap? Because something very bad happened there. And of course, strange things start to happen almost immediately. Bumps in the night, and things moving of their own accord.
The thing is, for some reason, this is one of my absolute favourite types of horror movies. And in that sense, this film delivers quite well.
Moriarty is one to look out for. So far, I’m really enjoying her natural performances and she seems to have an interesting range. Here she plays the teenage daughter Hannah, who is waiting to start her senior year in a new school and missing her friends and boyfriend, played by Blake Jenner (Edge Of Seventeen). She is often left alone in the house, and is the first to notice the strange noises and things being moved, but her father, in classic horror movie Dad style, is slow to believe her. When she’s tasked with cleaning out the garage, she starts to piece together some odd facts about the previous occupants, and the truth starts to surface, that they were murdered in the house.
Add to this a creepy neighbour who claims to be a locksmith but isn’t, and the local kids who fear the house, and the plot starts to come together. Is the house haunted? Or is someone in the house with them? Although there is a twist here, which I won’t spoil for you, it starts to ratchet up the tension from about half way through, and it’s one of those slow burn thrillers that builds on tension and creepiness more than jumps scares and gore.
Though the ending feels a little bit weak, it’s a pretty fun film. I liked guessing what was coming and booing the father who won’t listen, and I liked the style of this film. And there are some really icky moments too, that made me cringe. So I had fun watching it, but at the same time, I think unless you like this kind of haunted house style film and are looking for something to watch, it might not please you. It’s not highly original or ground breaking, but I enjoyed it all the same.
See It If: you’ve ever spent the night home alone and wondered what those creaking noises in the attic were… fairly standard but fun horror/thriller fare.