- 1h 35m
A man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family's Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child.A man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family's Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child.A man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family's Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child.
This was an okay if somewhat flawed effort. What works best in this one is the general build-up and atmosphere of something being wrong with the house. The opening flashback to the encounter as a kid is quite chilling which is quite nice, while the constant attempts at reconnection to the fateful birthday provide some fun foreshadowing as it sets up the genuinely unnerving final half that spells out the true intent of the hauntings. These are what hold this one up as this one does have some issues. The biggest problem here is the disconnect we get from the main couple who in no way, shape or form come off like a believable couple who have been together for a certain amount of time. Not only is it obvious he's a closed-off, emotionally-distant sociopath who thinks flushing the toilet while she's showering is funny and calling her attempts at connecting cheesy, they display very little chemistry or warmth together despite the excruciatingly long build-up in the first half that tries to say otherwise and gets worse the longer it goes. That brings up another flaw here in the dragged-out pace that doesn't make this one all too thrilling. In addition to the constant attempts at making us think they're a loving couple, the rest of the running time here is devoted to flashbacks about the fateful party which paint him as an even bigger selfish brat than he is as an adult. It's barely worth wanting to stick around trying to figure out the mystery at times where the focus on him being so unlikable causes these to be so boring and unwatchable. As well, the other issue here is that so much of the film's insistence on tropes and ideas for its scares and tension-building is just routine ripoffs and cliches. The focus on the balloons is obvious, while the small-town cliches including the stranger who knows too much, the secretive stranger with a score to settle and the inquisitive girlfriend who gets caught up in everything just come off as pointless as none of it's scary due to being complete cliches. Combined with a wholly confusing and underwhelming finale, this one does have some problems.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language, Violence and intense themes of violence-against-children.
- Sep 8, 2020