I've seen this film a couple times already. In the first viewing I was struck by the ambiance (confusing, relatable, cold, warm, uninviting, snug, sad, thrilling) and the characters (confusing, relatable, cold, warm, uninviting, snug, sad, thrilling). I loved it.
However, it took me some time to warm up to the film ... my conducting odd jobs in the background during the show didn't help... but when I did fully tune in, the entire watching experience changed. I wanted more, I wanted answers, I wanted to hug everyone.
In the second viewing I was completely absorbed, so much so that I wanted to touch the story, eat it.
I wanted to eat this film. Caress it. Devour it.
This is a super tactile, sexy film. Every little move is delicate and perfect. The voices and sounds are low, soft, and ghostly. Clothing, lighting, hair, the paint job in entry hallway, the books in the shelf - all shown through the screen canvas as if done by a master painter. Beautiful, simply beautiful.
Going back quickly to the first viewing, I'd like to take a moment to talk about the clothes. The woman depicted in the poster image, for example, plays a significant role in the film (no surprise there), however her role in the film suggests her time and place is in the early 1800's. Fans of history, such as myself, will quickly note that the clothing style is more appropriate for the mid 1800's.
This bugged me for a moment. Thinking to myself: how could such an expertly done film make such a mistake? By the second viewing, I realized my blunder. This was no mistake. I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House has no mistakes.
By the second viewing I realized that I was transported to a world were time and being is intermingled, lost, without a home (outside the house itself). Memories, identity, truth, and linear steps in existence are left to the viewer to decide. This story calls into question what we know about ourselves and how we respond to "The Other Side".
I found the film as a whole, beautifully heavy despite it's light and airy initial feel. I loved it. I want to eat this angel food cake of a movie.
Not a film for everyone, but certainly a film for fans of slow, slow, slow thrillers. Or as a tour guide at a winery once told me about a part of the brewing process, "...slowly exploding...", which I found absolutely hilarious at the time because it didn't make sense to me, but it applies well (and makes sense to me now) in relation to this film.
The last few minutes are downright terrifying, for many reasons but mostly because the 'big reveal' is so completely opposite of the entire movie experience up until then. It shocked me, it actually frightened me. I ended up rewatching the last few scenes several time because I couldn't believe/understand what had just happened. I loved it.
In short, this is a stellar film and I think it's required viewing for story tellers in all medias. Pairs well with strong coffee or cold, cold water. Angle food cake. Watch with those who know how to appreciate extremely expensive scotch, or watch alone on a dark, late night.
I saw this movie on Netflix, or use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this original, heart-wrenching, masterful thriller.