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This is not really a typical mainstream horror movie but that's also why I liked it so much.

Vincenzo Natali has never been a mainstream director any way, so it should come as no surprise that this movie is also 'different' from the usual genre entry. Yes, in a way it's a haunted house flick but unlike any other you have seen before, due to some clever little changes and great developments in its story. Next to original, it also turns this movie into a mostly unpredictable one, making this already a better and more surprising movie than the average genre attempt.

In some ways, this isn't even really a horror movie. It has a horror atmosphere and tone to it but with its story, it's actually being far more a mystery and perhaps even science-fiction type of movie. It's also definitely a thinking man's movie, in the sense that you need to keep paying attention to its story in order to be able to follow and fully understand things.

I admit, the movie does become needlessly complicated and therefore hard to watch at times but never too much that it turns this movie into an annoying or unwatchable one as well. It's still somewhat annoying that this movie keeps coming up with new things and keeps changing and making up its own new 'rules' as it keeps going on. It keeps the movie fresh, original and surprising but at the same time it's also a bad thing that you just never really know what to expect or how to take certain things. What is real? What isn't? And why are these things all happening? The movie very slowly unfolds and explains everything in small bits and pieces. It doesn't always work out too well but still it's all good enough to keep you interest at all times.

It's also definitely refreshing to see a teenage protagonist getting played by an actual teenager. Not just any teenager but Abigail Breslin who has already proved herself countless times already, despite her still very young age.

I personally really liked this movie. It's a fresh, original and engaging take on the haunted house genre but I can definitely see why not every person is going to like this movie, due to the fact that this isn't really a mainstream type of movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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