159 user 40 critic

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

A young nurse takes care of an elderly author who lives in a haunted house.


Oz Perkins (as Osgood Perkins)


Oz Perkins (as Osgood Perkins)
1,998 ( 79)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Ruth Wilson ... Lily
Paula Prentiss ... Iris Blum
Bob Balaban ... Mr. Waxcap
Lucy Boynton ... Polly
Brad Milne ... Groom
Daniel Chichagov ... Mr. Darling
Erin Boyes ... Young Iris
James Perkins James Perkins ... John
Beatrix Perkins Beatrix Perkins ... Wendy


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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller


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Parents Guide:

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

28 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo soy la cosa linda que vive en la casa See more »

Filming Locations:

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


It has been reported that Debbie Harry was initially attached to play Iris Blum, though the role ultimately went to Paula Prentiss. However, director Oz Perkins has stated that the role was always thought for Prentiss, who worked with his father in "Catch-22" and remained friends since. See more »


The Netflix trailer includes a copyright line with a misprint in the year, it states "Copyright MMXCI", a misprint for MMXVI (2016). MMXCI is 2091. The main film's opening copyright line also has a misprint. It reads "A Netflix Original Film. All rights reserved. MMXVI". This omits the word "Copyright" and the recognized symbol for it. (Copyright is properly asserted at the end of the end credits.) See more »


Iris Blum: Where did you go, Polly?
Lily: I didn't go anywhere, Ms. Blum. I'm here with you, same as I have always been. The same Lily Saylor of 43 Hoover Road, Altoona... Pennsylvania. At your service.
Iris Blum: You had so much to say in those first years. When you lived here with me. Enough to fill a book. And then... nothing. You turned your back. You turned your back, and you turned your back so many times... that soon your feet were facing the wrong way altogether. And I had to watch you come into a room... back to ...
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Features Friendly Persuasion (1956) See more »


You Keep Coming Back Like a Song
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Anthony Perkins and Urbie Green & His Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

God doesn't give with both hands.
12 September 2016 | by horrorinpureformSee all my reviews

Wow, is this movie ever pretty. Aptly named.

I was captured by the very first scene of the girl in the dress. Like a painting from the futurism style, it blends movement and motion into a final still, out of focus, and it looks stunning on the mostly black big screen. All of this is overlayed with narration that is simply perfectly spoken (which is consistent for the film, a beautiful read), but more importantly beautifully written. The narration, which comprises most of the spoken lines of the film, is more a poem than a movie script, and I appreciated it for it. The image was a painting, the words were literature, as a whole the film was successful as an art piece.

It revolves around a live-in nurse moving into a house to care for an old author who used to write horror books. The nurse starts experiencing subtle signs of a haunting, and finds a strange connection between what is happening to her and one of the author's most famous books.

As an idea, it was the kind of quiet horror I love, channeling fear through the uncanny, like old written weird fiction (my mind took me back to reading the Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman). Fear is not even the right word, as nothing about the film is scary, really. More like a feeling of wrongness with the world, an existential dread of sorts.

Not to detract from the beauty of the art on display, which was anything but shallow, but the plot itself unfortunately was. Pretty, but surface. Only unfinished hints of a story, that relies a bit too heavily on the viewer to fill in the gaps. I am always a fan of ambiguity, and it is almost necessary for me in a horror film (definites tend to disappoint), but there is still a balance to be struck with some concrete details. Osgood Perkins' last film, February, struck the perfect balance between ambiguity and detail, and for that was my favourite horror of 2015. Here, unfortunately, the scale has moved too much in one direction, to the point of feeling unfinished and not entirely satisfying. I also did not love the ending, which is much too close to that of another stunningly subtle recent horror, by one of the most famous current horror directors. Actually, I loved the ending (as a part of the story on display), it fit very well, I just didn't love that I had already seen it so recently. A sad problem of timing.

All in all, I can't possibly not recommend The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, because it is a soul-satisfying kind of pretty, from sound to visuals to acting. But if what you're after is horror (or even a particularly engaging drama), it won't quench that kind of thirst. Only one for beauty.

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