Vincenzo Natali emphasizes technically impressive shots in the service of predictable, boring expository beats, at the expense of elaborating on his main character's growing feelings of isolation and torment.
We're all for "deliberate pacing," but this is better described as "patience testing." None of the spark or verve that is present in Natali's other films is present here. It's as dusty as a Victorian ghost story without any of the actual scares.
Never completely loses the viewer's interest, but the edgy, enigmatic would-be momentum goes slack in the second half as the slim plot extends to 97 minutes when 80 would have made for a tauter experience.
Without distraction, attention can drift to the poor, cheesy lo-fi effects, which look as shifty as they did in Natali's 'Cypher,' but without the relentlessly nutty plot twists that jerk us merrily around.