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Showing posts from February, 2018

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)

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This film, the delicate and calmly paced Netflix poem, features more than one first-person voice-over introduction, a practice I often dislike. But in this case, although the script is possibly heavy-handed, it is not insipid. It gives the whole story a very literary tone that I enjoy. This tone continues as a significant character, Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), was a novelist by trade before she came to need a hospice nurse (Lily, played by the stoic Ruth Wilson).

The muted tone continues dominating the film as its most significant feature. With little color, little noise, it aptly captures Lily's own experience nearly alone in a haunted house as she slowly experiences the deaths that she has come to live with, to come closer to understanding what that means, what those deaths were. And as she learns, so do we.

It is an experience. Like a perfectly prepared meal, it is not designed to be inhaled. If you like quickly-paced adventure/slashers, this will not satisfy you. It is a film …

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

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*contains spoilers* *this blog ALWAYS contains spoilers*

This movie wishes it were The Babadook (2014). The mysterious figure that haunts anyone who knows his name. . . But the Babadook was a symbol of depression (or homosexuality, if you read it like many a tumblrite), and that's just too. . . surreal for Stacy Title, director, or Jonathan Penner, who wrote the screenplay, (and whose names are a bit on-the-nose, really). Emotional logic is still logic.

I think the strongest thing this movie has going for it is the postmodern resistance against making sense of things. We never hear any explanation for the coins or the train imagery or the finger scratches in the stone. I mean, Elliot, the main character, asks, but Mrs. Redmon (Faye Dunaway) either never answers, or we don't hear it through Elliot's hallucinations. And the film consistently insists that the murder perpetrators "aren't mad," which is a nice gesture for those of us forced to protest the stigma a…