I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House Review
No way am I typing up that title again...It will now be referred to as "Pretty Thing" or simply "the film", as I am lazily inclined to do on a regular basis.
Pretty Thing follows a young woman who becomes the caregiver of an elderly author who happens to live in a haunted house. Through overlapping, vague narration, the film relies on atmosphere to drive its tale of a haunted house that not only fueled the author's books, but wishes to be fueled by the souls of the living.
This film, like others in its class of crawling atmosphere, are an acquired taste for purists of the horror genre. While a film that relies heavily on ambiance to drive the fear can be as refreshing as a perfectly delivered satire piece, the pacing can easily dull the film right out of interest. In this case, the film struggles to succeed in escaping the dryness that weighs on other movies of a similar vein. The slow-burning arthouse style is so weighted that you become indifferent rather than invested.
The film's narration made the entirety of the production feel like a well-made visual interpretation of a Creepypasta podcast. The verbose and overly grandiose narration was so thick it left the atmosphere clammy and uncomfortable rather than rife with tension and uneasiness. The gothic horror poetry of the script, while relative to the plot, was abused to the point of feeling like a modern day fanfic of The Witch.
Ruth Wilson's performance certainly carries the highlights of the film. Her raspy voice plays perfectly to the narration, helping develop the perspective the director was undoubtedly going for. And while this piece perhaps caught me on an unforgiving day for its pace and frigidity, I can only imagine trying to make it through without Wilson's rendition.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 5/10