I’ve said it before and I have no issue saying it again – I’m a big horror fan. I won’t say #1 because then people start bombarding me with niche horror titles just to prove that I’m not in fact the #1 fan. I avoid such douchie people, I avoid such pointless arguments. I have nothing to prove to anyone. So, yeah, big horror fan, and I’m happy with that label.
The problem with being a horror fan is that good horror is becoming increasingly hard to come by. Everything has been done before. New movies/TV/books reuse the same old tropes. I wouldn’t mind it so much if they actually gave those tropes a refreshing touch. But no, everyone is hell-bent on being cliché about clichés. And James Wan‘s new offering is no different.
Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
I had really high hopes for this one. I mean the guy directed Insidious and The Conjuring! I was looking forward to jump-scares, nightmarish ghouls, and at least one night of being afraid of the noises in the dark. But what I got was sheer disappointment.
The movie opens with a Psych Doctor talking about a patient who quickly becomes a problem and she orders for him to be dealt with. Then we cut to a pregnant Madison coming home to an abusive husband. He bashes her head against the wall and she won’t stop bleeding. That night the husband is killed by an entity in the house. The movie shifts back and forth between the present and Madison’s past, and we find out that the killer entity might be her childhood imaginary friend.
My Issues with The Movie
The first few scenes are a classic horror movie opening. I’m all here for a classic opening. I was super stoked to see the creepy-looking house that gave off all the right vibes for a horror setting. I loved one scene, in particular, that’s shot from above and we’re taken through the house room by room as Madison tries to escape the killer entity. But that’s about all I liked about the movie.
The rest of the movie is increasingly annoying. Madison, our protagonist, is the daftest character out there. When will horror movie writers understand – nobody in real life actually walks towards a creepy sound in an empty house?! And nobody goes back to a presumably haunted house alone! We call a friend, we gather strength in numbers, and we strategize. Horror movie writers/directors have overused the clueless-with-a-death-wish trope and it needs to go away.
The killer entity, presumed childhood imaginary friends, is the ugliest thing I’ve seen in a horror movie to date. And it’s not even scary-ugly. It’s just… ugly. No nightmares there. Thinking about is just making me nauseous.
Do I recommend it?
This is not a movie I recommend. My fellow horror lovers, I watched it so you don’t have to. Go re-watch Carrie or something.