Like a moth to a flame, I saw a new horror movie being released and I had to get to my local AMC and see what all the buzz was about. The early hype set this horror movie as something new and terrifying. After having seen it, I’d liken it to Silent Hill, but not nearly as terrifying. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I had my eyes covered within the first five minutes. After that, I was curious enough to look a few times.
The story starts off with Bella Swann’s dad, Billy Burke, working in a textile company that has mannequins in it. Faceless, expressionless plastic people are terrifying. The cleaning lady (see token Hispanic woman) sees something scary, gets away and warns Burke. He shrugs it off, until it comes after him. He immediately notices it doesn’t like light, but this does him little good as ‘it’ gets him and the audience is shown a mangled corpse of what once was Bella Swann’s father.
The movie picks up with a young boy (God, could I watch one horror movie without children in it?) and he hears his mom (Maria Bello) speaking to someone, though no one is home. When he goes to investigate, his mother is talking to a darkened doorway into what I assume is either her bathroom or closet. There is no one there. He creeps back to his bed, but there is a distinct scraping noise that’s happening and he doesn’t sleep. At school, he keeps falling asleep. His mother is called, but she doesn’t come get him. Enter the hot older sister with the adorable boyfriend. The two take him home, but mom is all out of sorts (crazy). The daughter takes the brother back to her place and the weird scratching happens at her apartment, the lights from the ‘tattoo’ sign casting an eerie red glow, the only thing that saves the girl. The next morning, social services (token African American) comes to take the boy back, as what the sister did was akin to kidnapping.
This lights a fire under older sister and she begins an exhaustive investigation to see what is causing all of this mayhem. I would have to SPOIL the movie further. What follows, in the movie, is a sort of convoluted path to a revealing ending that is foreshadowed about halfway through the movie. The evil thing is a girl who is presumed to be downright evil. One could argue that being isolated from everyone due to an allergy to light would make anyone a little twisted.
The story has wonderfully vivid characters: the mentally unstable mother, the troubled sister, the annoying brother and the endearing boyfriend. There are hardly any minorities to speak of, so if you like movies with just white people in them, this is for you. Two minorities do get killed towards the end, but thankfully, most of the white people are unharmed. Despite the complete lack of substantive diversity, the movie is helmed by a young (white) woman and the chief antagonist is also a young (presumed to be white) woman. After seeing Ghostbusters, I suppose more women heading movies is a good thing. Even though reviewers felt like the story came together, and while it was left open for a sequel, it just never resonated with me. The scares were mostly of the scare variety and the twisted end was grossly foreshadowed. I would be intrigued to see an attempt at a sequel. Maybe have one of the kids carry the memory and let the evil return? It could prove quite interesting. Overall, for $6, it was okay.