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Not what I was expecting
freqeteq30 October 2020
Going in I thought I'd know what this film was about, I mean a film in 2020 about two black refugees going through the immigration system in Britain how can it be anything but what I'm expecting it to be? But I was wrong, and I am so glad I was.

Another reviewer said that this is "woke" and a commentary on immigration, it isn't, not at all. This is not a film about race or the differences in race or the difficulties of adjusting to living in a new country, it's not trying to say anything about the immigration system it's just telling a story that happens to involve new immigrants to a country, saying this is a commentary on immigration is like saying Jaws is a commentary on water safety or Die Hard 2 is a commentary on airport security.

This film is a supernatural horror about the desperate things that people will do to survive and the consequences of those actions, and it's one of the most entertaining horrors I've seen for a while with some genuinely unsettling scenes, I can only hope people don't dismiss it because of a few ignorant reviewers who see imaginary agendas whenever there are black characters leading a film.

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Chilling And Moving
david-meldrum8 May 2021
A long time ago, in a city far, far away I worked in a London hostel for young people who found themselves homeless. Over time one of my responsibilities became the oversight of the house next door to the hostel in which were accommodated a smaller number of people who had arrived in the UK seeking asylum. All these years later I can still remember some things about some of the people I worked with there Yugoslavia with whom I often watched and talked about football or the news updates from his homeland. At one point we even accommodated a man who was an IRA informer - not an asylum seeker exactly, but we were to treat him as such when he was placed with us.

When I spent time listening to and learning about these people what quickly became clear was something I knew at a subconscious level but had never really processed or given active thought to up to this point - that when you move countries, no matter how few tangible, physical possessions you bring with you, there are some less tangible things that you can't leave behind. It may be your own physical body, your culture, your beliefs and expectations, your memories and hopes, or many other things. All these come with you, whether you like it or not. This was reinforced for me when my wife and I emigrated by choice to South Africa; in doing so you realise how much more invisible baggage there must be when one flees as a refugee.

This is the territory His House covers so well - a small-scale British horror movie about a couple escaping Southern Sudan for the UK, placed for the time being in a nameless house on a nameless housing estate. They come with little in their hands, but much else they haven't been able to shed, and it's those things that haunt them so compellingly over the 90 minutes or so of this film.

The film stands on two brilliant central performances from the actors playing the couple at the film's heart - at least one of whom is on screen for the whole of the running time. But it's also much more than the performances - it's the clever use of a wide range of ideas and tropes such as the haunted house story, the home invasion movie, gothic fiction, or even at one startling point the Narnia Chronicles. These tropes are both embraced and subverted often to subtly powerful effect; and it's the wordless moments that are often the most powerful - sound design or slow camera pans bring us some of film's most memorable and effective moments.

On the face of it the film's ending may seem cloying and naive, but the reality is that it gives us a more profound truth than we may been prepared for; that in order to truly make a home for ourselves in a new context we must look squarely in the face of all the unseen things we carry with us, accept them, grieve them as appropriate and place them in their proper setting. Then we move on; not without those things, but with those things giving light and shade to all that we are in the new places in which we find ourselves. As such this is not only a powerful, chilling, and moving film about the refugee experience, but one about experiences we all go through at different life stages.
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Who's House?
kosmasp17 November 2020
Talk about a slow burn of a movie ... some may read horror movie and think this will be just one jump scare after another ... and while there are some of those, this builds up! And in quite the original and weird fashion! The fear of living or being in your own appartment/house cannot be put into words. Well not accurately that is - which is why this is also a visual treat.

A horror movie that has quite impact - or is able to, if you let it. Visually stunning and creepy as it can be. The pacing probably will be an issue for some, but it isn't for you, do it! Watch it - you should be able to tell, if you like this after the first 15 minutes or so. And you can watch it again and again - because while this is a horror movie on the surface, there is a lot more beneath it ...
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Better than a good chunk of Netflix's offerings in the horror genre! [+62%]
arungeorge1331 October 2020
The horrors that asylum-seekers have to put themselves through when meshed with a haunted house storyline is what we get in Netflix's His House. Bol (Dirisu) and Rial (Mosaku) are refugees fleeing their war-torn country of Sudan; they brave bullets, rough waters, and even lose their daughter as they finally arrive in Britain where they're granted probational asylum. They're temporarily moved into a shabby, crumbling house in the London suburbs, and that's when the past begins to haunt them.

His House is a pretty strong directorial debut from Remi Weekes, who has also written the screenplay. It may just be a 93-minute film, however, His House manages to dive equal parts deep into the struggles of immigrants as well as survivor guilt. While Bol tries to blend in with the new surroundings (he sings football anthems at bars, changes his attire, and prefers to use tables while eating), Rial holds firmly onto their culture (she wears their daughter's necklace, dresses in vibrant colors, and sits on the floor while eating).

The scares, the greatest thing about horror films, are well-conceived. Weeks mixes jumpscares with more atmosphere-heavy ones in an effort to keep viewers on edge. Practical and visual effects are put to solid use in these sequences, though some fare better than others. A little inspiration has been drawn from films like The Conjuring and Lights Out, in a good way. Weekes, through some effective crafting that blur the lines between fantasy and reality, elevates His House beyond the conventional haunted house movie.

Not everything works though. The final act switches horror for a somewhat predictable twist, and while the closing frames make for a powerful set of metaphors, it feels slightly sketchy from a closure standpoint. The performances are good for a film that revolves mostly around two (or three, if you include the beast) characters - Dirisu and Mosaku showcasing credible, lived-in feats.
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His House
mbhgkmsgg17 November 2020
His House starts great and it also ends strongly. However, that beginning and that ending feel like they are from two different movies. It's quite unfortunate that it made me feel that way because I do think that there is a lot of things that this movie gets right.

Let's start with the first half of the movie. What I would consider the horror half. This film began very quickly and left very little time for the viewer to get situated. The first 45 minutes were indeed very scary, and I was drawn to the screen. But what made that first half so great, was that it didn't just rely on the usual horror tropes. His House explored themes of racism and all the other challenges that refugees face. These issues were explored in a way that caused tension even outside of the house that works as the centrepiece of the story. Another aspect that created its own horror was distrust and challenges of marriage. This film managed to create an atmosphere of constant terror and tension, and I, for one, really liked it.

The second half, however, moves into a completely different direction. What started as a pure horror film, shifts more and more into a drama as the run time moves towards its end. The horror changes from the typical haunted house style more into creature horror. That's also where the movie stopped being scary for me. I have never found creature horror to be particularly scary and this film didn't change that. I do realize that that is a personal problem, and most people will probably find the second half to be nearly as scary as the first one. But it's not just the normal horror stuff that changes. The two aforementioned aspects of immigration and marriage are almost completely forgotten about. And it is quite unfortunate that this is the case. I felt that they added so much to this movie and made it more than just another haunted house film.

With that being said, I did like the second half nearly as much as I liked the first one. His House end up becoming a rather touching drama by the time it finishes. And if it forgot about the challenges of immigration and marriage, it replaced it with the conundrum of whether to leave ones home country in the first place. Although a new home promises a better life, is that always going to be the reality?

There is a lot to like about His House. I think that it fantastically approached horror by making it about more than just jump scares and a scary atmosphere. I also liked that it was a haunted house film that didn't take place in an abandoned mansion. And, I also liked the second half with everything it had to offer. The thing that lessened my excitement was the fact that I felt like I ended up watching two different films. Had there been more cohesion between the two halves, I'm certain that I would've liked this film quite a bit more.
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Nice surprise
med-0108131 October 2020
Decided to watch this film on Halloween as pretty much watched all the classics over the October month and i found this little gem very refreshing. Netflix has been disappointing this halloween with the terrible blyth manor but they pulled it back with this one. A horror story with heart that makes you feel lucky for the life you have. It tells the story of two asylum seekers and the struggles they face to settle in a new country BUT something has come along with them!! The story flows nicely, the acting is a decent effort and there are some very good jump scares. Some of the dream scenes are beautifully shot and kind of reminded me a bit of the scenes in The Ritual. Its not all horror but that shouldn't stop you giving this one a go.
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As far as I'm concerned...
matahari20-130 October 2020
This was the perfect horror movie. Genuinely terrifying in parts. And also giving a view into a world of human experience that encompasses human-born horror, loss, grief, desperation, striving and hope. I really cared for these characters and what happened to them, their story. I felt they were so real and believable in their struggle with one another, their love for one another, their tragic loss of community and connection, their being thrust into a cold, thin alienating, lonely new life in a strange land. Great actors , great script and engaging story, great camera work and yes, a twist. For me, there is a lot to like here and I will be looking out for more by this film-maker.
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Brilliant on several levels. We need more of this and less junk in the horror genre.
downstage_right30 October 2020
There are so many terrible films, particularly in the horror genre, on Netflix at the moment. This is not one of them. All the horrors I've watched recently are either far too dumb, or too far the other way - relying on being artsy or having powerful imagery but sacrificing a satisfying story. This one gets it just right. It is genuinely intriguing but leaves you with a resolution. There are layers of interpretation, but also a nice clear cut story.

I found for a good part of the film I thought it was just a theme of asylum seeking; a couple fleeing something bad and arriving at a not-beautiful side of Britain, with the man trying to adjust to a new culture and then woman conversely holding onto her roots, all through the narrative of an apparently haunted house. The pair being explicitly warned that they might be sent "back" if they made any trouble, or didn't integrate properly, emphasised this theme. But it turned out to be about something quite different - something I can't really say without giving away the plot substantially. It could have been based on anyone with a past, and the fact that the main characters were refugees worked well for the narrative but was not the entire theme.

It was well cast and very well acted, which is not actually all that typical in many films being streamed at the moment. Matt Smith is in it but as a side character: they don't try to force him into it beyond his welcome just to exploit the well known name; also refreshing. He is good in his part, but the two leads are allowed to shine.

I'm not much of an artistic critic but I felt they built and maintained the atmosphere brilliantly. I can't even tell you if it was visuals or score or lighting or whatever because I'm not the type of audience to dissect that - I just know it gripped me and took me with it emotionally. The tension is good and there were jump scares that work well. Personally I can't stand a film that's just reliant on jumpy moments or gore and lacks any actual substance. This, to me, gives the best of all worlds. And when it ended I felt genuinely glad I'd watched it, and watched it to the end.

Honestly this little film buried far below the (poorer quality) netflix recommendations was a very positive surprise for me and I would definitely recommend watching.
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Very Good Not what you think
nancyhotz1 November 2020
It starts well, midway you think it's following a standard horror movie course, but stick with it! Very well done. Terrific ending!
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His House
jboothmillard19 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Before Awards Season, I never would have heard about this British scary movie, it looked and sounded really interesting, so I was definitely up for it. Basically, in war-torn South Sudan, Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (BAFTA nominated Wunmi Mosaku) are refugees fleeing with their daughter, Nyagak (Malaika Abigaba). They brave stormy waters on an overcrowded motorboat with many fellow refugees on the perilous English Channel from France searching for a better life. Although they survive the treacherous crossing, their daughter and many others are killed. Three months, they have made it to Britain and are finally granted probational asylum. The government assigns them a dilapidated house on the outskirts of London which has peeling walls, dismal furnishings and almost no cleanliness. They are given strict restrictions, or they may face deportation. They experience racism and hatred from their neighbours. They are met by their case worker Mark (Matt Smith) who appears to be friendly and hopeful for them. Bol tries to incorporate himself to their new life, including interacting with others, trying to encourage Rial to use utensils for eating, and even changing how he dresses. Bol wants to prove to the government that he and Rial belong in the UK. Rial, however, clings to their culture, including dressing in colourful clothes and eating on the floor rather than at the table. She also keeps the necklace of their dead daughter. Both Bol and Rial soon experience strange and disturbing phenomena in their new home, seeing visions of Nyagak and a mysterious man, who both lurk in the walls. Rial works out that the evil in their house is an apeth (a ghostly being of South Sudanese Dinka folklore) or "night witch". She tells Bol the story of a poor man in her village who accidentally stole from an apeth by the river. When the thief built his home, the apeth moved in with him and haunted him. Rial believes that an apeth has followed them and if they repay their debt, the apeth will bring Nyagak back to them. But they do not know what the "debt" is that they need to repay. Bol burns everything they brought with them, but the evil spirit continues to torment him, and things deteriorate between the couple. Bol goes to Mark to request new accommodation, claiming that their home is infested with rats, but is unable to convince him. Bol tears apart the house looking for the apeth, and the chances for the couple staying in the UK are threatened when Mark discovers the damage. But Rial tells Bol that this is fine and that she wants to leave. Bol locks Rial in the house before he summons the apeth himself, who calls him a thief and claims that Bol took a life. The apeth offers Bol a deal: his life for Nyagak's, but he outright refuses this offer, resulting in Bol becoming so angered that he momentarily becomes catatonic. When Rial is tormented by the spirit, she manages to escape the house but finds herself inexplicably back in South Sudan in a familiar classroom. She is reunited with old friends, and a flashback reveals them to be victims of a horrendous massacre. Rial survived the massacre by hiding. Bol found her and the couple made their escape as violence gripped the region, but a bus service would only let on people with children. Nyagak was found by Bol in the crowd and abducted, the couple falsely claimed that she was their daughter. The couple boarded the bus and escaped, leaving Nyagak's real mother (Lola May) running behind the bus, as gunfire erupted. Later, many Africans crossed a rough sea, when Nyagak and others fell overboard. Neither Bol nor Rial could reach her in time. Having accepted what they did, Bol decides to repay the debt to the apeth and tells Rial the truth. Bol starts to let the apeth into his skin and Nyagak enters the room and returns to Rial. But Rial does not accept this alternate reality, she saves Bol by slitting the apeth's throat. Later, Mark comes to inspect the house to find it repaired. Bol and Rial tell him they have chosen to stay and make it their new home. They say Rial killed the witch that haunted them, which Mark finds funny. Bol says they decided to live and go on with the ghosts of their past from South Sudan, including Nyagak. Through the doorway, the spirits of other unknown immigrants are seen, and with them in the home, but the couple are then seen alone and stand holding holds in their new home with a peaceful look in their eyes. Also starring Javier Botet as the Witch, Emily Taaffe as Dr. Hayes, Dominic Coleman as Lead Officer, and Cornell John as the voice of the Witch. Dirisu and Mosaku both give great performances as the refugees seeking a better life, the mix of displacement, trauma and social alienation and the evil ghoul terrifying the couple is clever, it has well done traditional scares and hideous visual that get your attention, it is an imaginative take on the haunted house movie, an interesting horror thriller. It won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer for Remi Weekes (writer/director), and it was nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year. Very good!
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jericha-274021 November 2020
If you're a fan of in-your-face horror, this film is deeply psychological and not for you. Although politics lay the foundation for the story, the story itself isn't really about immigration. I think sometimes people see minorities in horror films and automatically think it's about racism or prejudice. To be blunt, there's no political message in film. It's well crafted and allows you to draw your own opinions. See it for yourself.
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not a very very very fine house
Quinoa19848 March 2021
Truly terrifying, mostly because Weekes has great skill at drawing out the terror and how psychically linked it is to deeply personal trauma and grief. It takes both the thorny politics of assimilation, of what is one's home or place in the world, along with the horror of the value of death balanced with life itself (and Weekes understands and communicates that the political is personal, visa versa, so on). But his real win here is in the casting of Dirisu and particularly Mosaku - he manages to channel the ambivalence and Trying to Remain Composed type (but not holding up well) very strongly, while Mosaku is one of those major talents who can say so much with a look or a stare. In any just or healthy cinematic landscape she would be working steadily in good stuff forever, and hopefully she does. This is not something to throw on unless you're in the mood for a heavy mood (this isn't a frivolous like Conjuring or Blumhouse rollercoaster jam), this is more akin to like the Devil's Backbone as far as being exceptionally creepy, helmed by an artist in full command of his craft, and that it's about something - not to mention the genius of the premise itself, which helps bypass the usual question in ghost stories of "why don't they just leave?" Easier said than done, it seems. Oh, and that one masked girl... Holy god.
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Welcome to the House of...
Xstal8 December 2020
... Fear, Uncertainty & Nightmares - The psychological torture and torment of two immigrant refugees, a married couple, acutely examined and unlayered through their culture, the beliefs of their forbearers, within a derelict British society they misguidedly hope to call home, against the tragedy endured trying to get there. Some genuine jump scare moments with goosebumps, excellent visual effects and makeup, encapsulating two of the most talented actors around, providing us with two of the best performances of this cinematic year.
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Decent physiological horror
Horror_Flick_Fanatic31 October 2020
A good physiological horror film with a main theme and a surprising twist to the story.
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Sundance Film Festival
yusufpiskin30 October 2020
Well... I was lucky enough to watch this movie at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival (internet). I am a big fan of horror films and this movie definitely delivers. The story is one that blends very well the horrors that many refugees face along with the manifestations of the terrors they bring. Often times the most scariest stories are those that deal with the non supernatural.

More specifically, the movie is actually logical and doesn't fall for the classic tropes. In many scary movies that deal with a haunted house, I ask myself "Why don't they just move?!?!?!" but in this case they can't because they're placed in these specific, confining circumstances in order to get their asylum granted. I was also a fan of how the film portrays the female character as the strong, cool and collected wife while it's the husband who quickly descends into madness.

Overall, I encourage everyone to watch this movie when it comes out on Netflix Turkiye.
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Well that was different!
nooshie-3314231 October 2020
I'm always looking for a different twist on the horror genre and here is a good one. African asylum seekers in Britain get housed in a haunted social housing property. The leads are just brilliant and utterly convincing as a married couple who have literally been to hell and back. Remi Weekes, the director, has a very sure hand with horror and breathes some fresh life into the haunted house/demonic posession/witchcraft genre. A very small cast, a disconcerting and claustrophobic atmosphere and winning leads make an original and fresh movie. It starts very creepily and builds the tension throughout although the end was a little heavy on the virtue signalling.
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A brilliant, must-watch
ic_you21 November 2020
Moments of heartache then genuine terror. I had goosebumps.

Sope Dirisu is incredible - and Wunmi Mosaku is an absolute scene stealer.
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Not a horror,a great drama!!!
tchitouniaram8 November 2020
What a magnificent film!Using traditional horror elements,the creators of this movie,show the real life horrors of genocide,PTSD,survival and guilt which comes with it...Absolutely heartbreaking,fantastic film,which touches topics,unfortunately,mostly left alone in our society ...Highly recommended!!!
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A messy combination of jump scares and social commentary
siderite9 March 2021
I feel like I missed something, as so many people said this was good, but for me it was a really boring story punctuated by pointless jump scares. Probably the biggest issue with it is characterization, though. I couldn't care less about the quietly judgemental black woman, the angry black man ordering his wife around and the non linear story that predictably ends in them feeling shame or regret for something they've done in the past, like good poor god fearing people. And yes, the film hints at bigger issues, at the refugee plight, at how difficult it is to adapt to a completely different culture, but it touches them in formulaic and ultimately Western thinking ways.

There is always this silly morality in this kind of horror films, something to explain why it all happened, connect the special effects with some sort of human emotion that would make sense, a final twist that makes it all fall into place. But it just proves that until that connection is made, everything was pointless or at least unnecessarily obtuse. And it is thus with this film. It has about 15% of good quality stuff, but the rest is just filler and characters you can't empathize much with and the telegraphed jump scares.
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There's a twist.
el731 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
His House is a beautifully acted movie about a Sudanese refugee couple who are moved into a rundown house in England. The house turns out to be haunted, and there are a number of questions left up to the viewer to decide by the end. The movie does a neat trick of making it clear exactly why the couple can't just leave this house once the haunting starts. They have strict rules in place to maintain their asylum status, and one of those rules is they don't leave that house before they're told that they can. There's conflict between the husband and wife, as he is eager to assimilate while she wants to hold onto their culture. The ominous mood is set up early, as the house they are given is large enough for two families but they are being given it to themselves and the rehousing agent (Matt Smith) acts shifty about it and won't explain why they have this house to themselves. The house has been used as a trash dumping ground by the neighborhood kids, so it has fallen into an abandoned state and they wind up having to fix up parts of it just to have livable conditions. There are holes in the walls from which come whispering sounds. And from the very first night, there are jump scares and WTF moments, and some pretty good ones too. The wife, Rial, becomes convinced that a ghost from their past has followed them to England. The husband, Bol, doesn't want to hear it at first. They have a big secret between them, a major source of guilt. Whatever is in their house is feeding on it. The thing is, if the ghost followed them there, why do other people who have lived in the neighborhood longer treat their house like it's haunted? The movie hints that there might be something much older occupying that space but never explains it fully. However, the movie does manage to come to a mostly satisfying resolution.
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A decent stab at urban horror
Leofwine_draca6 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The haunted house flick is old and cliched these days - to be fair, it's been so since the 1930s - but HIS HOUSE manages to breathe life into a flagging, overblown genre. The point of view, that of a pair of Sudanese asylum seekers, is spot on and allows for a fresh perspective on otherwise familiar events. This low budget film adopts an understated approach for the most part, painting a grim social milieu and interspersing effective flashbacks in the narrative to tell a story of sadness and despair. What keeps you watching is the quality of the acting from Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku, who are both excellent in their parts. My only gripe is with the climax, which gets a little too drawn out and over the top for my tastes, but otherwise this is a minor gem.
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Well acted with a nice twist but it ain't a horror film. It aint a slow burner too which is a good thing.
Fella_shibby10 November 2020
Its not spooky or creepy. Mayb some wannabe critics may term it as a horror film cos of the trauma the couple went thru or mayb cos of the evil men can do (one tribe butchering another tribe) or mayb cos of the Folie à deux. The performances by the two lead actors is top notch, the film ain't boring n moves at a decent pace but it aint a horror film.
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Very different, enjoyed it very much
adam-mey31 October 2020
Different and memorable. Not predictable, left me wondering in what order it was written.
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Quality suspense...
RosanaBotafogo4 November 2020
This film portrays the weight of guilt, in fact, that "ghost" was his fault, for his responsibility in the death of the little girl, excellent film, psychological terror, seasoned with dark photography alternated with pastel colors, and scary ghosts, these innovations in terror are always coming, and Netflix presents us with yet another quality suspense, I try as a background the prejudice suffered by refugees ...
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Edvis-199723 November 2020
Well I found it really boring and acting wasn't professional for me. Not sure why it has 72 Metascore but it wasn't my cup of tea. Wouldn't recommend to watch it if you like horror movies because it had 0 elements of scare. If you like drama/ghosts then maybe it's for you but the movie is bland and nothing special.
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