I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House Review

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a 2016 psychological horror thriller film directed by Osgood Perkins, starring Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban, and Lucy Boynton.  The film follows a live-in nurse, Lily (Ruth Wilson) who suspects her elderly employer’s house may be haunted.


Positives:

  • Great suspense
  • Great score
  • Good character
  • Good performance
  • Interesting premise

Negatives:

  • Confusing plot
  • Painfully slow paced
  • Poor camera work

Plot:  The story is pretty slow but suspenseful.  The story does become confusing as it switches between Lily reading the novel, Polly within the novel, as well as Iris writing the novel.  The story does gradually unfold but it doesn’t tell anything interesting. (2 out of 5)

Characters: Lilly (Wilson) is the main protagonist of the film and although a bit timid is likable.  There isn’t much to her character though; no backstory, not much to her. There really isn’t much to any of the characters and afterwards you probably won’t remember any of them.  (3 out of 5)

Cast: Good performances although not any memorable ones. Ruth Wilson does a really good job.  Bob Balaban does a good job. Supporting cast include Paula Prentiss and Lucy Boynton.  (3 out of 5)

Visuals: There are some interesting shots with the camera having a really intense focus but the blurred shots are distracting.  Another interesting aspect is how the camera focuses on showing the house itself rather than just the characters. The ghost effects aren’t anything to run home about. (2 out of 5)

Score: The score is done really well.  There is a subtle touch to the music that is a slow build that when it lands is quite impactful. (4 out of 5)

Writing: Not sure what to really say about the script.  In terms of the direction, Perkins does a job but the writing is just not good.  Even worse, is uneventful.  What kind of story is the film trying to tell?  Can’t really say as there wasn’t a point to it. There’s no resolution, no climax.  The script doesn’t know what kind of story that it wants to tell.  Is it a psychological horror? Is it a murder mystery? Is it a ghost story? (2 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is not only boring but quite an uneventful (and confusing) film.  Despite an interesting premise, great score, good performance by Wilson, and some decent camera work, the film suffers from a lack of fulfillment when it comes to the story and an overabundance of blurry shots.  I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House gets 3 out of 5.

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