Mike Flanagan cooked up his own supernatural ghost story using James Wan’s recipe. It’s a tried and true recipe but the lack of originality knocks it down a peg for me, especially since I’ve become a pretty big Flanagan fan over the past few years.
I will say upfront that the production value is great, which is to be expected. The scares are classically approached and that makes it a really fun type of horror movie to watch. This film isn’t trying to depress you or make you contemplate your own existence. Its main objective is to feed you scary shit and that’s totally fine with me, as long as that tone is consistent, which it is.
The movie takes place in the 60’s so I have to address that. I’ve been hearing people say how this is such a strong aspect of the film and I just don’t agree. I didn’t get a remarkably authentic 60’s vibe, I got a vibe of someone who was trying to recreate the 60’s. It’s not a huge complaint or anything, it’s a very difficult feat for a filmmaker to pull off and I almost believe some of those efforts would have been wasted on this project.
Why do I think it would be wasted? Well, while the young boy in the film keeps repeating that “the old house has good bones”, this film doesn’t have good bones. The backstory is incredibly generic and while I didn’t know exactly how the ending would play out, I got the general idea.
I fully enjoyed this film despite the fact that I don’t entirely respect it or think it will be all that memorable. With that being said, if you’re into The Conjuring or Insidious series, definitely check this out.