Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, and James Ransone
Before going to see this I’d been given some personal recommendations to go see it and how petrifying it is. I geared myself up for the fright of my life, but was left feeling far from frightened.
The film starts with a lovely clip of four people hanging from a tree, which personally gave me a promising start. Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a true crime writer and after not having a hit in ten years, he hopes his new case will be his next big break. Wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance), son Trevor (Michael Hall D’Addario) and daughter Ashley (Clare Foley) seem perfectly happy with the new move, but only for a short period. After Ellison discovers there are more secrets to the original crime than thought, strange events start to happen within the house. Living inside the very house where the crimes took place, Ellison must find out the truth with the help from Deputy So and So (James Ransone) before it’s too late.
I had heard a lot of hype around how absolutely terrifying this film was, and being the scaredy cat I am, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be sleeping for a while. At first it seemed as if it was going to be quite horrifying but as the film went on, I soon realised it wasn’t quite the fright I’d hoped for. Less of a supernatural film and more of a serial killer film, it has the gore factor but not the scare factor.
I wanted to be jumping out my skin and feeling sick at the thought of being home alone, but it just didn’t deliver. I admit there are a few freaky parts where I had my hands ready to cover my eyes, but it just wasn’t as scary as it should’ve been. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it just wasn’t adrenaline pumping. I must say I did enjoy some of the graphic gore included, but that still wasn’t even that extreme.
If you’re a bit of a pansy and think films like Scream are scary, then you’ll find this could scar you for life, but if you’re like me and know your horrors, this won’t be up to standards.