What better way to entertain oneself, while being stuck at home, than watching films about people being stuck in haunted homes? Recently I decided to check out three films of a similar theme, currently streaming on Netflix. A couple have been on my “list” for quite some time, so I thought, better now than never! Let’s just say, not everything can be a winner but at least you can have some fun banter online with the help of the Netflix Party Chrome extension. Here are three housebound horror movies that will, at the least, make you grateful that your own home isn’t haunted.
Girl on the Third Floor (2019)
Girl on the Third Floor stars CM Punk as expectant father Don, trying to fix up an old home before he and his wife welcome their new addition. As he begins renovations, Don learns from his neighbors that the house has a dark history, though that doesn’t discourage him. Not long after discovering this shady past, he starts to experience supernatural and horrifying events, but he’s too consumed by his work to see past it.
While this film has some positives, I found it to be majorly flawed as a whole. At the core, it has a fantastic premise and something that has great potential. What does a disservice to that is the poor performances and the overwhelming ignorance of the characters, that just go beyond believability. Some of the more eye-roll inducing moments were just too much to be rescued by the films better qualities – one being the amazing practical effects.
There are some wonderfully inventive and ultra-uncomfortable gags that were highlights throughout. It felt wasted on a film that wasn’t completely fine-tuned in the script. It’s still a bit of fun to watch, though I equate that more to watching with friends than the actual film itself. It’s just one of those movies that has a plethora of idiotic characters and gaps, which become more taxing to watch than entertaining.
Warning: A dog dies
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a Netflix original which stars Ruth Wilson and Lucy Boynton. Wilson portrays Lily, an at-home caregiver who has been hired for an elderly woman with dementia. Her patient is Iris Blum, a former horror writer who had a successful career. She calls Lily the name of a character from her most popular book “The Lady in the Walls”, which is likened to her ailment. As Lily settles into her new job, she begins to feel that there is a supernatural presence in the house, perhaps one tied to her employers stories.
Atmosphere in this film is superb, and there’s a great Gothic, moody presence throughout that I was certainly a fan of. Though, I felt it supported itself solely on that, with the tension never really riding a wave towards an effective result. It felt tedious, like experiencing a lecture by a monotone professor. I just wanted it to go further than the bits it teased. Wilson of course gives a solid performance, familiar to her fragile character in The Affair, but the story simply doesn’t push her to where you hope it would go.
House of the Witch (2017)
House of the Witch is a SYFY original film, released back in 2017. The flick is a standard setup of curious youths breaking into an old house on Halloween night. The abandoned home the setting of a local legend, which has peaked their curiosity. It’s story is painfully similar to Truth or Dare, another SYFY flick released the same year. Both have an almost identical plot, down to it even being on Halloween night – and both suffer from an underdeveloped story and amateur theatrics. Though this film has a leg up, given its run of practical effects that were entertaining and effective.
Ten years ago or so, I was such a huge fan of SYFY and their original content, mostly their series. It’s disheartening to see them churn out the same uninspired films within the last few years. But if you’re looking for a double picture event of comparable films, you could dissect these two, as both have found afterlives on Netflix.
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