31 Days of Horror: “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House” Is A Slow Burner



Title: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House
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Posted October 28, 2016 by

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Horror movies are exciting because they get your blood pumping, make you uncomfortable no matter how many lights you turn on, no matter how many people you surround yourself with while watching it, and no matter how prepared you are to get scared. We’ve seen almost every trick in the book so when the director focuses on a tube television with the doorway in the reflection, we are all waiting for an entity to appear at some point; no longer paying attention to what ever else is happening on screen. The thing with Netflix’s new horror film “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House” is writer/director Oz Perkins gives you so many of those moments that are just fake-outs that you never know what to expect, making the film one long tense experience.

This is not one of those horror movies that’s going to make you jump, scream, or even have to look away from the screen. It’s not trying to be one of those films. No, this horror movie is going to make you uncomfortable being in your own home. It’s going to make that sound of the floors settling seem much more sinister, or every time you hear a bump in the night you’re going to want to check your walls to make sure no one is inside of them. “I Am the Pretty Thing” takes the one place you feel the most comfortable in and turns it against you and that’s scarier than any ghost that may appear in the bathroom mirror when you’re brushing your teeth.

Lily (Ruth Wilson) is a hospice nurse who is taking care of on old woman, Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a famed author whose most popular book focuses on a ghost that lives in Iris’s house. Lily is scared of everything so picking up the book to learn about the woman she can’t see is out of the question; that is until it becomes a necessity in order to know what she’s dealing with. The more she reads, the more the reality of the situation becomes more terrifying, and the higher the chance is that neither Iris or Lily will make it out of the house alive. “I Am the Pretty Thing” asks the question: do you shrug off something like this and pretend it doesn’t exist, or do you protect yourself against unseen forces at the risk of sounding crazy?

Ruth Wilson delivers a strong performance; one that’s much more subtle than what is normally seen from a character in a horror movie. Everything from the way she speaks, to the way she slowly makes her way around the house at night, or focuses on the books that taunt her from the shelves, really amps up the tension in the film. She’s such an innocent character that you feel terrible knowing something is going to happen to her. You wish you could yell through the television and tell her to get the hell out. Instead you’re forced to sit there and witness everything that’s going on and it makes for a very uncomfortable, yet exciting, viewing experience.

If you’re idea of a horror movie is something more along the lines of “Saw” or “Paranormal Activity”, this film is not going to be for you. Oz Perkins takes us back to a time when the genre was more focused on atmosphere and what may or may not be happening. He allows us to use our imagination a lot of the time; getting the viewer to scare themselves without having to show his hand. “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House” is an extremely slow burner that doesn’t have a huge payoff; it just asks the question, “What if?” While it’s not what we consider a conventional horror in this day and age, this movie creeped me out more than anything else has in a long time. Good luck trying to sleep after watching it. That thud in the living room may be something much more than you think it is.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House is now streaming on Netflix. 





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