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This is one greatly directed and wonderful looking movie but I really wouldn't go as far to call this movie a great one as well.

It's a movie that builds- and relies heavily on its atmosphere. And with its build-up and atmosphere this movie surely doesn't disappoint. It's a wonderful looking movie, with wonderful cinematography and use of light, to help build up the movie its tension, mystery and atmosphere. Credit for this of course also needs to go to director Juan Antonio Bayona, who did a great job with it all and provided the movie with some great moments.

So what's the problem you might wonder. Well, unfortunately once you start analyzing it- and thinking back about it, the story just isn't really all that great or special. To be honest, it really isn't all that original and something I have seen done a lot before, in the recent past. Of course it's not like the story is bad all together but it's just that the movie didn't really offered anything new or surprising to me, no matter how creatively it all got told and shot at times.

You also need to know what to expect when watching this movie. It's often being advertised as an horror but is it an horror really? I guess you could classify it as one, though supernatural thriller would perhaps be a better way to describe it. It has some scare moments in it and some other typical horror ingredients, as well as style but overall story-wise the movie has way more thriller, mystery and drama elements in it. This movie in fact definitely works better as a mystery than an horror really, so know what to expect when watching this movie.

Producer's Guillermo del Toro touch is definitely notable throughout the movie. Like lots of other movies he was involved with, this one feels and can be seen as a dark fairytale, for adults. This is something I often really love about del Toro's movies and the one element that for me really stood out about it and made it still an original enough one, within its genre.

I guess that those who aren't really into these sort of dark mystery thrillers, told in an horror style, will still end up really loving this movie and might end up being surprised by all of its twists and developments as well. For me personally it however was offering far too little new story-wise but I obviously still could really appreciate this movie, for the way it got made and looked.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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