(Review originally written at 27 December 2010)

Despite the fact that this movie is loaded with special effects, it's still one that is really a throwback to the early days of horror, when it was all about its atmosphere and setting up the right tones, without ever showing too much. In this movie there also is an invisible, faceless villain, so there is no hideous monster or a masked killer but just a bunch of shadows, scary sounds and things that suddenly start to movie, or fly around.

This movie sounds perfect for the lovers of pure horror, also not in the least because it had Sam Raimi, who obviously really understands- and has a love for the genre, in the director's seat. But yet I really wasn't as in love with this movie as most critics and moviegoers were when this movie got released. It's for most part still a good movie but it truly suffers from one main problem; There is too much happening.

You are never given one moment of rest in this movie. This perhaps sound like a good and positive thing but it's just not for an horror movie. There is always something happening in this movie and it's basically the one horror moment after the other. First there is a shadow attacking, the next scene people are being thrown around and the next there are a bunch of scary sounds, coming from the next room. It's good for this movie that all of these things are in it but just not so soon and rapidly after each other. The horror becomes more and more ineffective after a while because of this. Perhaps they threw all of this stuff in because they didn't had a really great script to work with to begin with.

The story really isn't much special and truly not something we all haven't seen or heard before somewhere, in one way or another. It's still being made the best out off, by throwing in a bunch of interesting and fun characters as well as some good humor.

You could say that this movie works better as entertainment than horror really. And perhaps this is also what Sam Raimi was also aiming more towards. It's a movie that appeals to a wide audience, also because it doesn't feature that much blood, or any gruesome and graphic killings, or anything of that sort.

The movie has a good look over it, despite the fact that it didn't had one of the highest budgets to spend. Most of the money obviously went into its special effects. Special effects normally really are out of place and overused in modern horror movies but Sam Raimi uses it in this movie to actually create a more old fashioned type of horror atmosphere, so it isn't as distracting or bad as you would perhaps expect from a modern horror movie. It's all thanks to Sam Raimi's directing approach and love for genre that makes this movie a good and also enjoyable watch.

A good in-between movie to watch, just like this was a good in-between movie to make for Sam Raimi, who went back to his directing-roots with this movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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