Saturday, October 13, 2012


Description from Netflix:
After moving to a new town, a true-crime writer discovers a cache of videotapes depicting brutal murders that took place in the very house he just bought.  As he tries to solve the mystery behind the crimes, a sinister force threatens his own family.

Notable actors: Ethan Hawke, Fred Dalton Thomas

My thoughts:
We went to see this in the theater last night.  I saw a preview for it before Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and it looked really creepy.  So I've been looking forward to this for a long time.

Through the first half, I was afraid that it was going to turn into Insidious.  It had the same kind of feel, so I just assumed it was going to hit a point that just lost me.  I assumed it was going to show the monster for too long and he was going to look ridiculous, or that there would be some hokey explanation for it.  But that point never hit.
There was a scene a little more than an hour in that seemed a little goofy and out of place, but it didn't kill the movie.  I was already significantly invested by that point, and it didn't completely derail the movie.

This movie was pretty creepy, but it was really more unsettling than anything.  We sit with Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke's character) as he watches films that show the murder of a series of families.  The movie actually opens with a family of 4 being hung from a tree.  It was pretty disturbing, and definitely helped to set the stage for the rest of the movie.

It was pretty creepy throughout.  It was a bit slow at times, but I was never bored.  Even in those slow times, I was ready for something to happen at any time, so I was always on edge.  They did a great job at setting an atmosphere of dread, and keeping it throughout the entire film.  In less skilled hands, this movie could easily have been very boring.  As it is, I thought this was very well done.
There was even a character brought in for comic relief that I really enjoyed.  It was a nice break from the crushing dread, but it didn't completely destroy the mood of the movie.

I had couple issues with the movie (minor plot holes, mainly), and I wasn't crazy about the ending.  But, overall, I really liked this movie.  Very creepy.  Very tense.  Very well done.

Rating: 4.5/5

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