“A house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living, it can only be borrowed by the ghosts that stay behind.”
A young nurse has been hired to take care of an old woman. This old woman is Iris Blum, a prolific horror author that now lives all alone in her New England mansion and suffering from chronic dementia, and needs to be proper taken care of 24/7. When the young nurse, Lily, starts living there in order to take proper care of Iris, Lily starts experiencing certain things that makes her imagination run wild. With Lily being a bit of a scaredy-cat as well, she tries all she can to re-focus and pretend that nothing is happening…until she can’t pretend any more.
“I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” is a strange dish. While being a haunted house movie, it’s told from a somewhat different angle (from the actual haunting itself, so to speak). The movie starts with Lily herself being the narrator, stating “The pretty thing you are looking at is me. Of this I am sure. My name is Lily Saylor. I am a hospice nurse. Three days ago I turned 28 years old. I will never be 29 years old“. No spoilers to be had there, in other words…we know exactly what will happen to Lily, just not how. That being said, Lily is only part of the haunting: another spectre is already present. A young woman in a white victorian dress, who have a direct connection to Iris and her books…a mystery Lily eventually feels compelled to solve, and will lead to her unfortunate demise. With regards to this movie, I guess it’s fitting to say that sometimes, curiosity really does kill the cat…
I many ways, it’s a little hard to review this movie as a horror movie, because in many ways it’s more like a gothic poem, and certainly more beautiful than scary. It is very slow-paced, and it’s not one that is there to deliver all the answers…however, it does have a pretty good atmosphere and could be well worth a watch if you find yourself in the mood for a slow poetic ghost story.
Director: Oz Perkins
Country & year: Canada / USA, 2016
Actors: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Bob Balaban, Lucy Boynton, Brad Milne, Daniel Chichagov, Erin Boyes