I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

Director: Oz Perkins
Writer: Oz Perkins
Stars: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Lucy Boynton

After being impressed with Perkins’ first feature in which he both wrote and directed, I quickly sought out information regarding his second feature where once again he both writes and directs. While this is an interesting film I have to say that it was a slight let down over February (The Blackcoat’s Daughter). I do still think though that he is a director to keep an eye on in the future.

We follow the story of Lily (Wilson) who we see arrive at the creepy old house of former author Iris Blum (Prentiss). As the film progresses we start to see similarities between what appear to be things happening to Lily, and the happenings in a book written long ago by Blum. All the while we are hearing a narrative told by Lily in the past tense. This also serves as the bulk of the actual dialogue within the film.

I Am the Pretty Thing is a very stylized film and is perfectly shot. The film itself has a haunting quality and look and feel to it. Its major downside though is that it is an awfully slow burner which never gets up a head of steam. I can’t say that I was ever bored though or thought time was dragging while watching but the film certainly does run at an excruciatingly slow pace.

I can understand why some people would be turned off by it. Its style is not for everyone. The film is beautiful to look at and the photography is a delight. The score is also fantastic and fits the film perfectly. Unfortunately though the film does tend to meander a little and the whole thing is a little shallow. The plot is rather weak and not terribly well executed, though there is plenty of ambiguity as to what is going on and why.

As ghost story’s go this is not a bad effort and I certainly enjoyed the look and feel of the film, but I don’t really think the film is aimed at a wide-stream audience. And this perhaps accounts for many of its low ratings and negative reviews. If you like art-house ghostly goings on, then I would recommend this as something slightly different to the norm.


The Sage’s Rating:

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