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I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

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Canada · 2016
1h 29m
Director Oz Perkins
Starring Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban, Lucy Boynton
Genre Horror, Thriller

When elderly author Iris, who struggles with dementia, moves into her house, she is joined by a new nurse named Lily. Iris recognizes Lily as Polly, the protagonist in her most famous novel. However, Polly doesn't appear to be altogether fictional.

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The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Perkins commits even harder to his singularly strange approach to the genre, turning a simple ghost story into an exercise in extremely prolonged unease. It could give Norman Bates the willies.


Village Voice by April Wolfe

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is the very best of gothic horror, that which needles at your insecure core and whispers in your ear what you already suspected: You will never be all right.

75 by Brian Tallerico

Most importantly, this is not a film to be “solved.” It is a mood piece made by someone constantly playing with structure, but never in a way that calls overt attention to itself.


We Got This Covered by Matt Donato

A few images sear with the burning sensation of undead terror, but that only accounts for a few short minutes of an otherwise more-daunting-than-it-should-be cinematic exploration of death.


The Guardian by Nigel M Smith

It’s commendable that Perkins seems wholly uninterested in the tropes of the genre: there’s only one jump scare, hardly any gore and no final girl. The elusiveness of the narrative, however, grows weary fast.


Consequence by Randall Colburn

What’s clear in Perkins’ second feature is that he’s clearly become aware that his talents as a visual storyteller outweigh his skill with narrative. He’s leaning into that, and while it might make for a more “difficult” film, it’s ultimately a more satisfying one.

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