We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018) Poster

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Rather mundane
Leofwine_draca18 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE is an adaptation of a ghostly novel by famed novelist Shirley Jackson, nowadays becoming somewhat popular again after being forgotten for many years. Sadly this turns out to be more melodramatic than scary, following characters after a tragedy and showing how a pair of sisters are there for each other through thick and thin. I found it something of a slog to sit through, well shot though it is; the performances from Alexandra Daddario and Taissa Farmiga attempt naturalism but I found them rather shrill and attention-seeking rather than believable. The film's plot twists also feel age-old rather than fresh, and the outcome is anything but a surprise.
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"the world is full of terrible people"
SnoopyStyle27 January 2020
18 year old Merricat Blackwood (Taissa Farmiga) lives with her older sister Constance (Alexandra Daddario) and wheelchair bound uncle Julian (Crispin Glover) in the family mansion. Six years earlier, Constance was tried for the poisoning deaths of her parents but was found not guilty. She is now a recluse unable to leave the estate. Every Tuesday, Merricat is forced to go into the hate-filled town for supplies. She buries items of evil as protection spells for her beloved sister. Then cousin Charles Blackwood (Sebastian Stan) shows up to entice Constance.

The first half is problematic. The town is full of hate but the movie isn't convincing in its exposition. The confused time periods do not help. I don't like the title cards jumping around in the timeline. Everybody is doing weird acting. Quite frankly, Crispin is acting the most normal and that is not normal. There is one aspect that is not as emphasized. Constance's beauty could be her curse. She could be the ever-present sexual targeting by the men of the town. Of course, that would require the roles of the sisters to be reversed. It makes more sense for the town folks to throw insults at Constance anyways. She is the presumed guilty one. This movie needs to be clarified and simplified and normalized. The saving grace is the last act. I don't really understand why she sets the fire but that whole section is horrifying and poetic. Keep the ending and rework the first half.
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I'd heard of Shirley Jackson, but not this novel
lee_eisenberg15 September 2019
I knew about Shirley Jackson from the 1963 adaptation of her novel "The Haunting of Hill House" (as well as the infamous 1999 adaptation). I had never known about her "We Have Always Lived in the Castle", now adapted as this movie. The novel apparently is about the ostracism of anyone viewed as "the other". I guess that the movie is about that. It's certainly an oddball one. Slow-moving, more than anything.
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Difficult to like or dislike
Gordon-1121 June 2021
It is hard to form an opinion on this film. The characters are not amicable, despite the riches they live in. Once the family secret is revealed, it is hard to dislike them anymore. I find myself liking and disliking Mary at the same time.
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Kind of a good weird
Calicodreamin25 October 2020
This movie was undoubtedly weird, but kind of in a good way. The storyline was captivating and the characters were well cast and well acted. Not scary, but had a definite creep factor.
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Great Acting: Sets, but ...
westsideschl4 July 2019
Negative reviews from people who need a daily sugar rush in their lives. Great acting (even from the briefest of support actors) worth watching just for that. The most unusual of characters placed together in a beautiful old mansion - what secrets lie within? Would have rated a bit higher except no subtitles for ESL & hard-of-hearing viewers. Especially important for a dialogue dependent movie.
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Blackwoods always lived there...
Thanos_Alfie6 December 2020
"We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is a Drama - Thriller movie in which we watch two sisters living with their uncle in their family house after losing their parents in a tragic event. They have to make some decisions when their cousin arrives with his main purpose being to steal their family fortune.

I liked this movie because it had much of suspense and an interesting plot with many good scenes. The direction which was made by Stacie Passon was very good and I believe that she achieved her main goal of creating a bond between the audience and the two main characters. I also enjoyed the interpretations of Alexandra Daddario who played as Constance Blackwood, Taissa Farmiga who played as Merricat Blackwood and Sebastian Stan who played as Charles Blackwood. Lastly, I have to say that "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" is a nice thriller movie and I am sure that if you do not have different expectations by it, like expecting something different than what its trailer presented, then I am sure that you will enjoy it.
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I'm Here To Help You!!!!
wandernn1-81-68327423 October 2020
I liked the telling of this story. I thought Taissa Farmiga did a great job. The Cousin was certainly good at being creepy. And Glover was usually weird self as he is in everything he's in.

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Painfully dull
jtindahouse21 May 2019
It was interesting to read in the trivia section that 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' was a passion project for screenwriter Mark Kruger, because not a lot of passion went into this film. I tried as hard as I possibly could to like it, but my brain just wouldn't let me. Every time something mildly interesting would present itself to the plot I would think "Here we go, things are about to get good" and then sure enough they would just fall off the radar and go back to the bland, boring nonsense that had come before.

The characters in this movie are some of the worst I have ever seen put to screen. There is no one to like, no one who is interesting to listen to. These are the types of people you go your whole life trying to avoid in real life because they are awful to be around, so to sit and watch them interact for 95 minutes is not a fun thing to do.

The pacing is also very slow. The 95 minute runtime feels well over 2 hours. I think that mostly stemmed down to the fact that there is nothing in the plot to grip on to. Nothing that motivates the viewer to keep watching and stay interested. No conclusion that we are trying to get to before the characters do. This one was a complete misfire for me.
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A thriller film with low intensity! Too much talking! Bored to freaking death!
kwenchow19 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This film is about solving the mystery of the death of John Blackwood! After the death of John, two sisters "Merricat" and "Constance" live in the house of their father with Uncle Julian! As turnout, John is kill by his daughter "Merricat" arsenic poison! Entire film full of the spell casting scene by Merricat! She bury her father possession in the ground to have the so called magic to protect her and Constance! Really ridiculous! Even show us Uncle Julian mumbling all the time! And too much boring conversation on the eating table! Can skip direct at the end actually! All intense scene just at the end! Merricat throw cousin Charles smoking pipe into a dustbin and accidentally burn down her own house! All the villagers who hate Blackwood family grab away all the things inside the house! Uncle Julian dead in the burning house! Merricat kill cousin Charles with a crystal ball when Charles revisit Constance after the fire incident! That's it! A complete wasting time to watch thriller film! Avoid at all cost!
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
henry8-36 June 2021
A young girl, Farmiga, her older sister, Daddario and their uncle, Glover live in a vast house on the edge of village. An infamous murder spree of part of the family has not been forgotten by the hateful villagers and its impact on the 3 has been significant with all three suffering from various delusions and mental aberrations. The peace, such that it is, is shattered by the arrival of a cousin, Stan who starts taking control.

Very deliberately slow, this builds up scene by scene to what must inevitably resolve the situation. The atmosphere of impending doom and dread is impressive if you are prepared to stick with the pace. Director Passion never gives in to plain thriller / horror scenarios and even in the exciting climax and aftermath, she settles all our concerns neatly with an element of quiet discomfort. Could it have been better, definitely, but everyone in it is on top form and overall this is a underrated film experience.
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Great cinematography, excellent cast, worth watching.
joiningjt3 October 2020
It's not a tension builder and by no means a horror or thriller it's mostly drama, beautiful setting in gorgeous Dublin Ireland. The castle is a nice setting as well for a slower paced but worth watching drama with a little mystery throw in. Excellent cast and well directed not an oscar winner but a very good movie with an excellent ending!!
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One could say there's danger everywhere
jfgibson7324 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I was not a fan of this movie. I decided I wanted to see it because it was written by Shirley Jackson, and because of the cast. I didn't want to spoil anything, so I didn't read any reviews. If I had, I might have known NOT to expect anything spooky. It is very much a drama, an not an especially engaging one. The characters kind of drove me crazy--the uncle keeps spewing insane ramblings, the young sister keeps making the most destructive choices, and the older sister smiles and makes excuses. Then, their cousin shows up and he wants to take over. Eventually, the house burns and the cousin gets bludgeoned to death. It did not get me to care about them. Looks nice though.
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laughably bad
random-7077819 May 2019
First of all the 7 and 10 s are from accounts created to review this film (shills). Secondly the story source material is great as a novel but this adaption, directing and acting on this are laughably bad.
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Starts Off Great And Holds The Viewer Throughout - I Really Liked This Movie - Excellent Actors
dwp19481 October 2020
10/01/2020 I've This movie starts out with the principle character Mary Katherine Blackwood aka Merricat who is so odd yet refreshing to watch especially the awkward choppy gate of her walk. As she narrates the unfolding story, the visual surroundings that we see are so much a wonderful part of the storyline. The strange and quirkiness of this movie will draw the viewer in, if for no other reason then to see how it ends. I really enjoyed this movie and suggest that you at least give it a try. Bon Appetit'
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Intriguing premises with effecient performances
saadgkhan11 June 2020
We have always lived in a Castle - B (Good)

Based on Shirley Jackson's novel, the movie has intriguing premises and performances by Alexandra Daddario, Sebastian Stan and Crispin Glover. The movie did its best to create the atmospheric tension and town's hatred towards sisters successfully. While watching it, you do wonder who can look after Constance better, her sister Merricat or her cousin Charles. They both have their own motives, which in long run are not good for Constance. I have not read the book so, I am not sure if the book have more characterisation which can help us feel empathy towards understand Merricat. Her choices are questionable even if it's to save her sister as she comes across needy afraid to be left alone than a guardian.

Taissa Farmiga performance was good but her casting as a teenager in her 20s takes you away from the premise of intrigue of younger sister looking after her elder sister as Alexandria and Taissa maybe are around same age. Movie "Atonement" worked, as Saoirse Ronan was 13yrs old playing 13 years old. I reckon, movie would have been more effective with younger actress as Merricat.

I still enjoyed the movie, and was hooked by story and performances.
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Not Sure About This One
Foutainoflife21 May 2019
I've never read the book so my opinions are based solely on the film. This was a bit of an odd movie for me. I kinda thought it might be a "Flowers In The Attic" type of film but it wasn't that at all. This is a slow paced film that has very little to offer in thrills or suspense. It does make you stop at times and ask "WTF?" as situations would present themselves and the characters would not express normal reactions. That caused everything to have a surreal feeling. That would have been ok had things been explained more and given the viewer a much more clear understanding as to why they were acting in such an odd manner. I know what happened between the sisters but I never got a good sense as to the why's. The best part of the film is that it is really well acted.

My takeaway is simply that this is a toss up film. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. It's one to take a chance on.
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bad movie with good end
NijazBaBs19 May 2019
I liked seeing few funny and cool things like courage, abuse, relationships, reactions, culture, tradition of castle age. Most of the movie is unclear and unknown to me, because it is showing some specific location, nation, culture, and old times. Most of movies is bad and boring. About small daily things, believes, habits, nuisances, and challenges. Most important thing is there we can see different aspects and perceptions of good and bad, where our judgement is something good or bad depends on from what person's side we are looking. Everybody could be evil or good one. In the end we could see some courage, love, positivity, happiness, moral, which makes this move at least not the worst. Whole movie looks like childhood of most of us. Relationships in and outside of castle. Bit unusual and unpredictable behavior of all, especially two girls. Like it's either fake or something so rare, odd, unusual, specific.
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An Annoying Movie That Goes Nowhere.
redrobin62-321-20731111 July 2020
Too bad. I didn't think the acting and cinematography was that bad. The pretty sister who smiled EXCESSIVELY was way past annoying. In the end, the plot had little substance, was poorly underdeveloped, and turned out to be a waste of time. That little Farmiga girl sure looks like her mother, that's for sure. I wish her success in her acting endeavors.
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Never quite finds the right tone for its story
Sir_AmirSyarif3 June 2020
While the film is handsomely produced with period features and costume, the narrative never really feels as though it takes flight. Uneven and never quite finds the right tone to make its odd blend of gothic horror and dark comedy effective. Alexandra Daddario, Sebastian Stan, and Crispin Glover are great in their roles but the film, however, is driven by Taissa Farmiga's splendid performance.
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Headturner120 May 2019
People are saying " alot" about this movie. People are pushed to do terrible things blah, blah but. But we didn't see anything. It was surreal. There was no reasoning for any of it. It could have been really good if they showed more than cooking, weird gardening, a bunch of fluff. I like weird surreal films bu this was just weird and for what reasons?
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Yay Crispin Glover
killercharm18 February 2020
Set in the 60s a family holes up in their grand house after the beautiful older daughter is convicted of killing her father but not sentenced to serve any time. The town is against them now and the younger sister, feeling helpless, constantly casts useless spells to protect her family. That family comes with the uncle, played to wheelchair-bound perfection by Crispin Glover.
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This movie was so boring and stupid
Neptune16524 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I am wondering what happen?? What A horrible movie. Save your time, nothing happens in this film. the characters are annoying, the movie is 30 minutes too long, there was no pay off at the end. found myself hating their neighbors for being so uneventful, What is up with all these long movie titles that are basically whole sentences? One or two are memorable but now it's coming off as trying too hard to be unique.
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We Have Always Lived in the High Castle (2019) - 4.8
bradeybonnell7 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Act 1 - 4.7

Act 2 - 4.5

Act 3 - 5.2

Film is really about a crazy girl who will do anything to protect her sister

Performances are serviceable

The plot and dialogue are poor

Nothing special in terms of filmmaking

Would not recommend

Egocentric opening with an introduction to the sisters, shows house burned and destroyed

Back to last Tuesday house looks ok

Live with Uncle Julien in a mansion atop of the town, their mother and father were killed

They lived isolated from town and are very rich, townspeople hate them and think Constance killed their parents

Merricat constantly looks paranoid and does voiceover giving insight into her thoughts, she also practices witchcraft

Film feels cartoonish almost like its trying to be a Tim Burton film in the 50s

Merricat feels wickedness coming and casts a spell to keep them safe

Last Wednesday tea party with two women who knew the family and Merricat is afraid Constance will leave her

Julien is fascinated with the death of their parents and gives details of the case to one of the visitors, Julian spins a web saying that Constance poisoned them

Julian wants to write the book of the story and Constance confirms to Julian that she killed her parents

Last Thursday Merricat has to go town and is panicked and their cousin Charles Blackwood arrives

Last Friday Charles is making a good impact on Constance and Julian but Merricat feels something suspicious about him

Constance tells Charles that they keep all their money in a safe in the house

Last Weekend, Merricat doesn't think her spells are working and fears Constance leaving and Charles being there

Charles obviously cares about money

Sexual tension is building between Constance and Charles

Merricat asks Charles to leave but he doesn't want to

Charles is taking all of their fathers things and is becoming the man of the house

Last Monday, Charles says they shouldn't keep this much money in the house, townspeople meet him and think he will die and Merricat keys his car

Julian wants a box to keep his things from Charles and Constance is changing, Julian seems crazier since his arrival

Constance has been isolated for so long and is being easily wooed by Charles

Constance is always smiling

Tuesday, Julian rants some crazy things that could or not be true

Merricat thinks there is a curse and see her mother and father in the woods saying they love her, says she should never be punished

Merricat puts her fathers smoking pipe into a trash can and a fire starts

Merricat always says out loud descriptions of poisons and Charles snaps and drags her upstairs

Constance watches as Merricat struggles and lets go when he smells a fire and tells Constance to get the money from the safe and Charles drives away looking for help

People see the fire from town

Julian stores away his book while Charles drives into town

Fire trucks show up and people from town look on in joy, terrible people

Firefighters put out the fire

Julian locks himself in his room

Townspeople ambush the house looking for money and to destroy it while Constance and Merricat flew out a window

Charles tries to get into the safe

The people attack Merricat and Constance but one of the friends that we saw from earlier scares everyone off with a gun, Charles drives away

Yesterday The girls slept in the woods and go back to their home in the morning to see the damage from the people and the fire, cat is ok

Merricat says she is going to poison them all and Constance says like before

Learn Constance said it was all her to protect Merricat and says their father was wicked

Merricat did to to protect her sister from their father

Family friends shows up and tell them about Julians scheduled funeral, died from the smoke of the fire

One of the people who were terrible during the fire brings some food and apologizes for what he did

More people from the town show up with food because they are ashamed of what they did as a mob

Charles shows back up and wants to be friends again and tries to apologize but the girls hide from him

Charles throws a fit and breaks into the house and gets in top of Constance and Merricat smashes a snow globe over his head killing him, girl is psycho

They bury him in the garden and Merricat puts back up her spells

Back where the film started

Things go back to the way they were before and Merricat is happy

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Wonderful film adaptation of a classic Shirley Jackson short story.
cgvsluis3 October 2021
This film is based on Shirley Jackson's classic short story "We have always lived in the Castle", which if you haven't read it you should. In the book, the story is told through Mary Katherine Blackwood's point of view and introduces the reader to an unreliable narrator.

The film did a nice job of following the story from Mary Katherine's, or "Merricat" as she is called, perspective. Backdrop was perfect...the house, the forest, the town. The cast was great...crazy, cryptic, mysterious, manipulative, obsessed, driven...everyone's role contributed successfully to the uneasiness intended with this dark family drama. The slow pacing contributes to the feelings of deep loneliness, longing and ultimately desperation...which build up to a horrific act by "scared" and ignorant townspeople. (Not the first time Shirley Jackson has made social commentary on townspeople and their lack of empathy....her short story The Lottery has haunted me since junior high!)

The acting by Taissa Farmiga as Merricat, was so well done. She successfully navigated this character that is at once protective, loving, sinister and unapologetic. Likewise Alexandra Daddario was brilliant as Merricat's older sister, who played the difficult role of trying to hold on to normalcy when everything is anything but...including how everyone thinks she is the cold-blooded murderer of her own family. Crispin Glover was a delightful surprise as their nearly mad uncle who is obsessed with telling the story of the tragedy of their family...and Sebastian Stan is equally brilliant as the opportunistic, manipulative, money-grubbing, interloping relative.

The director did an excellent job...like the book, of not giving you all the facts, while trying to build your empathy for a character who may ultimately not deserve as much empathy as you think...or do they? One of the ultimate questions of the story.

Slow, beautiful and disturbing this period piece based on a classic is really worth seeing.
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