Never understood why when a horror film favors a slow-burn approach over sustained tension and breakneck frights, it's finally thought of as smart and creative. Much like the undercooked dullness masquerading as intellect of The Babadook and The Witch, this isn't a literate or auteurist slow-burn horror film exercise akin to Polanski or even Nicolas Roeg and Peter Medak, but a lifeless one that could use more depth.
Lean art horror checks the usual boxes; this movie's obligatory Shining hat-tip is a turquoise robe worn by a murdered character. But for lean art horror, it has some fun editing, not just in the weird Rules of Attractionesque framing device, but also in pregnant pauses. And the space is palpably there for us, quite dreadful. Leads are perhaps trying too hard.
Sensorially, this wasn't horrible; I liked looking at and feeling it. But the story was just either too weak or messy to make it anything more than a nice photograph with scary music. Casting two different actresses to play the same young girl only nine years apart was such a monumentally bad idea.
If we agree that there is such a thing as anti-comedy, then it seems right to call the films of Oz Perkins anti-horror. He tells a familiar tale - here a sort of Suspiria meets The Exorcist - but does so in a stilted, shattered and strange, off-kilter way. Wrong enough to remove all the fun, frights and satisfaction from scenes, but shot so well it seems intentional.
Great slow burn chiller with a fragmented plot and excellent photography, sound design and score. I like that the director really managed to convey tension and menace with minimal effort and without resorting to cheap jump scares and heavy exposition. Sure there are some parts that does not really add up but this is heads and shoulders above many other horror movies out there at the moment.
February's wonderfully menacing, eerie, fragmented 1st half devolves into banal exploitation. Perkins tried to take a hackneyed Satanic slasher & dress it up in more interesting clothes. Too bad "subverting tropes" is typically code for "creative bankruptcy."
This is a decent horror, well acted, well directed and with a fantastic soundtrack. There is something stylish and refined about its atmosphere, an anti trash splatter. The story-line however is too fragmented, I guess it is where the director got a bit lost as the different parts do not seem to come together as well as they should have. Excellent debut nevertheless.
To me, this feels like typical nonsense that is heralded as "subversive" or "intellectual" simply because nobody wants anybody else to know they don't understand it. There's nothing to understand. It's an under-cooked effort that (I think) tried to weave a triangular demonic possession tale, but sadly very little of it amounts to anything. Further, they seemed to mistake moody lighting for no lighting. Waste of time.