Stained by the brutal death of a young woman, the tranquil and vacant New England mansion of the prolific horror authoress, Iris Blum, has become her silent prison. To take care of the ageing writer who suffers from chronic dementia, the property's manager hires the gentle and soft-spoken live-in hospice nurse, Lily Saylor; however, this is far from an ordinary job. Little by little, Lily's imagination will run wild, as shadowy sightings of eerie female spectres blur the frail boundaries between reality and fantasy, fable and truth. Iris has talked about man's coexistence with the spectral realm in her novels that chill the bone to the marrow. Could her secluded white house at the end of the road be an aerial limbo caught in the middle of life and death?Written by
Director Oz Perkins includes a few nods to his late father, actor and singer Anthony Perkins, in this film. For example, he includes the song "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," which is performed by Anthony. Another is a clip from the film "Friendly Persuasion," which starred Anthony. See more »
The narrative of the story says the young bride was brought to the house her husband built for her in 1812, but the dress and hairstyle she is wearing, as a ghost, is from the period of the 1850s to the 1860s. Since she was murdered soon after moving into the house, the dress and hairstyle do not match her backstory. See more »
I remember thinking that it felt like Fall would never come. And then... it never did.
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A Traditional Gothic Horror Story, Slow and Brooding, Chilling
I don't often write reviews on IMDb, but I really wanted to for this movie because it was getting a lot of negative reviews.
I will start by saying that I understand why many people did not enjoy this movie. It is a horror movie and story out of time.
In a world where fast paced, jump scare horror is the common trend, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is something entirely other. It takes cues, primarily, from Gothic literature and Kubrick style film making.
As far as the story goes, it is slow and brooding. I think this is something quite different from boring, but is easily to mistake for it, especially if that style of storytelling isn't your style.
It takes time to introduce Lily as a character so that you suffer when she does. This is done for long scenes where nothing but character development happens. Since she is in a home where the only other living resident is barely cognizant, it does this through monologues, phone conversations, and her wandering around the house. The writing of the monologues is of a particularly high quality. I was sold on the movie from the opening.
As a movie, it uses slow long or wide shots with jarred cuts to build suspense visually and uses slightly dissonant music to build terror. These tools are used really well. Not quite as well as Lynch or Kubrick, but still great.
In quick summation, if Mary Shelley or, more recently, Susan Hill (who I think may have been at least part of the inspiration for Iris) wrote the screenplay for The Shining, you would get I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. If that sounds interesting to you, you will love it. If it doesn't, you will likely hate it.
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