Posted on 4/03/11 04:37 PM
A fairly solid old fashion horror movie. It was nice to see a scary movie not done in the found footage style. Of course, that's not what makes this a good movie. What makes this a good movie is the actual scares that are effective and get you on the edge of your seat.
The plot follows a couple with 3 children. One day their oldest child falls into a coma for no apparent reason. They also begin to notice strange occurrences around the house. They believe the house is haunted and decide to move out to a new home. However, not only do the horrors continue, they seem to worsen. They then learn that in fact it is not the house that is haunted but their child. ( This is not a spoiler because this plot point is highlighted in many of the commercials)
The film begining is slow and dull. ( I almost felt like laughing at the opening credits which might just be the longest in cinematic history)The film doesn't really get scary until the second act. Of course, a horror film doesn't need to have scares from begining to end. Many great horror movies don't get scary until the second act. However, those movies spend their first half developing the characters and setting of the story. This film does not. Instead we have to sit through scenes of every day life in which we learn very little of the characters and almost nothing happens that will be relevant to the story later.
Luckily, we finally get the goods in the second half. While the film definitely begins to rise before this, the film doesn't really reach it's full potential until two characters enter the setting. They are two paranormal investigators who are assistant to the physic that they ask for help. While many horror movies in recent years have tried and failed to have comic relief, these characters are genuinely funny and entertaining. The films then reaches it's thrilling climax. I enjoyed this part because while most movies would at this point just go for jump scares, this film decides to attempt to actually creep you out. While there are jump scares, and they are effective, it's these moments of pure creepiness that really stay in the back of your mind while your going home.
Now, this isn't the scariest movie ever by any means. I expect to sleep very soundly tonight. However, it is a well done and entertaining horror movie that I would recommend for anyone. One thing I would like to take note of. This comes from the director of the first saw. Now the father in this movie happens to be a teacher. At one point we see him working in front of the chalkboard at school. It was here that I notice a drawing on the chalkboard that appeared, at least to me, like a drawing of the mask from Saw. Just thought that be something to look for if you happen to see the movie.