A brother-sister team who fake paranormal encounters for cash get more than they bargained for when a job at a haunted estate turns very, very real.
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80242081
Siblings Jackson (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Angela (Florence Pugh) run a profitable ghostbusting racket; swindling the bereaved with fake detection equipment and Angela’s paranormal ‘visions’. Hired to investigate a haunted old foster home, the team uncover its terrifying past: young girls brutally slaughtered, mouths stitched shut – silenced by a sadistic killer.
I thought that Netflix did a very good job in making this film. The cinematography was thrillingly dark and ominous. The children were frightening at best, and the nice twist toward the end was very well delivered. Although the characters were mostly unlovable and somewhat forgettable, I thought the main character was reliable in her character and delivery of the script. The script is great, the plot is clever, and is probably the film’s biggest asset. The performances are good and the film manages to surprise you and as you watch it, you think you know exactly the direction the film is moving in… but then you quickly discover you were wrong.
It is definitely flawed, however, and at times it seems not to make sense – almost as if scenes were cut – but it hangs together well and after a pretty tame start it transforms into a much grittier, darker film. It is possibly telling that just under half way through I started checking Facebook on my phone which is never a good sign when watching a horror film.
I think the most disappointing aspect of this film was the character development. There was so much potential for a great story here and I felt that it was blatantly squandered. There isn’t a character in this film that underwent more development than a naming and a brief introduction to their role. Even in regard to the villain, the most development that took place was when she implied she was the villain. Along with not building characters there was very little suspense building as well. In fact while the characters seem to know a lot about the grim past they are stepping into the audience is given very little information on this and the film never fully delivers on that aspect of the story either.
Whilst the film starts out as a supernatural thriller the second half of it becomes somewhat of a slasher movie with shades of torture porn; so maybe this the problem that I had whilst the story was good, if not a little rushed, the film as a whole was neither one thing or another. That being said if Netflix were to make a sequel I’d definitely watch it – mainly in the hope that the plot holes could be filled retrospectively and some of the lingering questions answered.
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