Critic Reviews



Based on 8 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is the very best of gothic horror, that which needles at your insecure core and whispers in your ear what you already suspected: You will never be all right.
Perkins commits even harder to his singularly strange approach to the genre, turning a simple ghost story into an exercise in extremely prolonged unease. It could give Norman Bates the willies.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a lightly gothic murder ballad made with great finesse and a fine cast.
Most importantly, this is not a film to be “solved.” It is a mood piece made by someone constantly playing with structure, but never in a way that calls overt attention to itself.
What’s clear in Perkins’ second feature is that he’s clearly become aware that his talents as a visual storyteller outweigh his skill with narrative. He’s leaning into that, and while it might make for a more “difficult” film, it’s ultimately a more satisfying one.
Intriguing as the resulting ambiance is, it alone can’t sustain the film.
A few images sear with the burning sensation of undead terror, but that only accounts for a few short minutes of an otherwise more-daunting-than-it-should-be cinematic exploration of death.
It’s commendable that Perkins seems wholly uninterested in the tropes of the genre: there’s only one jump scare, hardly any gore and no final girl. The elusiveness of the narrative, however, grows weary fast.

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