I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House Discussed and Explained
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House Discussed and Explained - or how this movie scared me absolutely to death, and in a truly delightful way.
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I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House Discussed and Explained

Everyone just stop. Stop right there, and LISTEN to me.

I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is the single scariest movie I have ever had the pleasure of watching. And it’s not a slow cocking of the gun that releases at the end in mind blowing terror with a start, or a scare. It is mind-alteringly scary right out of the shoot. I was scared out of my mind from the get go. Heck the opening credits were mind numbingly frightening to me. Like, I almost bagged out on it I was so unnerved. Sound design. Darkness. Blurry woman. Scary face. Check, check, check, check, CHECK. Gah.

Let me back up and say this, I’m not a horror fan per se. Gallons of fake blood? No thank you. All I can think about is the poor actor that is having to wallow in the grime. But if you give me a thriller with a amazing conceit and a realistic setup? I’m all in. I have actually been looking for crazy scary books for years on this site. Books like The Shining, House of Leaves, Annihilation… etc. But I sort of accidentally stumble into scary movies as opposed to going and looking for them. Actually seems like I’ve discussed a number of intense movies lately accidentally, movies like Super Dark Times, A Ghost Story, Mother!, It Comes At Night, quite a lot of examples, and I’m not even really trying.

But HOLY COW are people throwing all kinds of shade at this movie everywhere. Some call it boring. Some call it pointless. Some I think are coming in assuming that the movie is a horror flick, and are truly confused as it turns out to decidedly not be a horror… at all. But if it isn’t a horror flick, then… what is it? I’d argue that The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is a movie that sits squarely in the Psychological Thriller camp. Here, if you want to see a poor reflection of what a movie is really like… then just watch this trailer if you haven’t already seen the movie. But better yet, if you haven’t seen it, go find it. Save this tab. Come back later and read the rest of the review.

HERE BE DRAGONS…
The rest of this post is 100% spoilers. From top to bottom. And of all the movies you want to see tabla rasa? This is the one. Promise.

So the movie kicks off with one of the most intense openings I’ve ever seen:

“The pretty thing you are looking at is me. Of this I am sure. My name is Lily Saylor. I am a hospice nurse. Three days ago I turned 28 years old. I will never be 29 years old.”

But this movie is dripping with darkness. The house is an 1812 house that seems to be completely lacking in electricity. Were there even any light switches in the entire movie?!? Regardless the movie is a set of matryoshka dolls that are interwoven one with the other. Lily Saylor, a live-in nurse, (played by Ruth Wilson – of Locke fame) has been hired to take care of Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a retired horror author that now suffers from dementia. But Ms. Blum doesn’t call Lily Lily. Instead she calls her Polly. Which, is strange, but hey, Ms. Blum has dementia after all. So, whatever. Until Ms. Blum’s estate manager, Mr. Waxcap (Bob Balaban of Close in Counters Fame, etc), explains that Polly was a character in Ms. Blum’s most popular book, The Lady In The Walls. So, obviously Lily is curious, who is this Polly, and what is her story?

But – and this is key – Lilly is mortally afraid of anything scary, including books, and especially movies. So try as she might, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for her to figure out what this Polly is all about.

Books within Movies within Books

Can I just pause a moment and just admit something right now? I am a sucker for movies inside movies, inside books, inside plays, inside books, inside movies. I absolutely adore it when a movie is playing out and the director drops in a play inside the movie that is foreshadowing of the movie, or the play’s outer shell. Right? A great example of this would be like Moulin Rouge, but better than that? The Complete Clouds of Sils Maria. Wherein it was almost impossible to tell when Valentine and Maria are really talking to each other or when they are rehearsing their lines. The lines might as well be a more accurate description of their relationship that they aren’t choosing to say to one another. Right? Books like S by J.J. Abrams? Or my favorite, House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. Which, really is impossible to describe, and you really just have to read it. Maybe the most recent relevant example is Nocturnal Animals, wherein we have a novel being read within the movie structure. And both have a direct relationship to one another right?

But why am I so into embedded stories? Because it’s not happening accidentally. In Nocturnal Animals it isn’t a fictional story (well not completely anyway) and in this movie, the book is a foreshadowing of the things to come. But Lily doesn’t know what happens in the book, she is too frightened to find out. And there in lies the rub.

Who Is The Girl Inside The Walls?

Mr. Waxcap has told us a truth from his limited knowledge or vantage point. Right? He’s told Lily that Poly is a character in Ms. Blum’s most popular novel. But we also know that it is Blum’s only novel that Blum didn’t write an ending for. Which, sorta seems odd. No? And as the movie continues on we realize more and more that the reenactment of the book that we are seeing isn’t actually a book, but rather real life. We are seeing the reenactment of the husband and wife that built this house that Lily is now living in.

And if this is actual, real life, and the trick or the conceit of the entire movie is that the book was real life, and that Ms. Blum has been communicating with the ghost, Poly, then Ms. Blum and Poly are just borrowing this house from the dead as Poly is want to say through the entire movie. So obviously the girl inside the walls is Poly. And Poly is also the pretty thing in the house, right? Wait, wait, wait… not so fast.

Who Is The Pretty Thing In The House?

As the movie ducks and weaves, and trundles it’s way towards more and more unnerving details – we begin to wonder what is in the wall, and why there is mold there. I mean, we aren’t wondering. We know exactly what is in the wall. But poor Lily has no clue whatsoever what is in the wall. So she begins working with Mr. Waxcap in order to get it repaired. “But I don’t think the estate will pay for this repair because it is cosmetic, it isn’t in the bones of the house, if you see what I mean.”

And the movie is barreling towards a chaotic and unavoidable end. We have already been told at the opening that Lily doesn’t make it through the next year. We know that she is deathly afraid of all things scary. She has been seeing small signs throughout the movie but has managed to convince herself that she in fact was seeing nothing. The phone, her hands, the reflection in the TV, etc etc. And we also know that Ms. Blum confronts Lily – assuming that she is Polly, and tells her that beauty never lasts – that she’s going to rot and fall apart like a flower. Which, in fact she has already done in the hallway wall. So if Polly was the original pretty thing… and Polly is now rotted in the walls, who is the pretty thing? Well, it is obviously Lily who will soon rot like a flower.

Sure enough, one evening, investigating a sound, Polly heads downstairs and sees the spot where boards of the wall where the mold was spreading were pulled away. And like a complete loon, she goes wandering around the main floor of the house, only to have Polly follow her. Backwards, no less. And eventually, arriving back at the front door, where the boards were removed, Polly makes her grand appearance. And, quite literally, scares Lily to death. Soon after, Ms. Blum dies for lack of a caretaker. Days, weeks?, pass and finally Mr. Waxcap comes to investigate, to find Lily dead at the front door, and Ms. Blum dead upstairs.

The Final Circular Reasoning

But then the movie continues. And that was where I got a little confused and had to re-watch the ending a couple times. And that is because Lily, the Pretty Thing in the House, begins roaming the house, and the time, to watch as events unfolded before she was even born most likely. We watch as Ms. Blum writes her most widely read novel. We watch as the next family moves into the house. See see Lily stop in at the door to Ms. Blum’s writing room and we see Blum sense her presence and call out for Polly. And with that we are now sure that we know that The Lady in the Walls was written by Ms. Blum’s communication with Polly, who told her the story of her life, and her death. It’s why Ms. Blum chose to not tell the ending of her story, out of respect for her life.

My Question For The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House…

My question though instantly was… was Lily actually Polly? Do we have A Ghost Story thing happening on our hands? I really thought I was on to something. It makes sense! Ms. Blum called Lily Polly throughout the movie. Lily had similar pretty characteristics. Lily started the movie out saying very clearly that she was the pretty thing in the house! SO THAT’S IT! Lily is Polly!

No. Nice try Holmes.

Just because these stories overlap and intertwine doesn’t mean that they are the same. It seems highly bizarre that even a displaced ghost could kill itself from fright. But man, that would have been a tight interweaving! So cool! No. No it wouldn’t have been cool. Because the story dovetailed with itself. We see one innocent woman bludgeoned with a hammer by her husband after he builds her a house of their dreams. And in the other? We have an innocent young woman that isn’t into horror novels or scary movies getting killed by an innocent interaction with Polly.

In the Bible it talks about the effects of sin being passed down for generation to generation. This seems like a real manifestation of that idea. The curse has settled on the house. Lily is borrowing the house from Polly. And in this interaction, Polly accidentally kills Lilly. No, isn’t that what happened? What are your thoughts on the movie? Did it scare you half as much as it scared me? Maybe something really hit me that was personal? I don’t know. But her voice and the reverb distortion, the absolute lack of light throughout the entire film. The faint traces of the ephemeral Polly and blurred nature of how the set her up. The lack of definition as to why Polly’s husband bludgeoned her to death and buried her in the walls. The set design. The music. All of it tightly wound into a chord that basically choked me to death. And I loved every minute it. I don’t know, what did you think of it?

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33 Responses

  1. Cassandra

    This was the worst movie I have ever seen – not one of the characters was fleshed out or relatable. No explanation as to why the husband killed his wife or why he had her wandering the house blindfolded anyway. Why would you take so much time and care just to build a beautiful dream home then just use it as the place you stuff your wife’s lifeless body? He was never seen again either. No explanation. The author who was a beautiful young and old lady was never given any personality other than some addled ramblings. Please don’t get me started on the main character. No wonder her fiance left her. I actually thought the voice-over was being ironic when it said she was the pretty thing in the house. She was dowdy and unattractive in every way. When she said she was 28 and would never be 29 that she meant she lied about her age since she showed more age than i do and I’m 43. I love quiet, psychological thrillers and most of the movies I enjoy have been described as boring. But I barely made it through this snore fest. Not one scary moment. Just a really badly written incomplete story that tried way too hard and came up way too short.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      You guys are all so smart. When you shellack me on my take on a movie I always stop and reconsider. The point you make that is the best Cassandra was why the husband killed her. I’ve heard of stranger things happening in history than a husband building his wife and then burying her in the walls. So it didn’t really give me great pause.

      Guess it hit me in the perfect mood. But dang, it scared me throughout. So kudos to you! hahah. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it. How did you find out about the movie?

      Reply
      • Cassandra

        Actually it was a suggested movie for me on Netflix. I guess I am really a “why” person so if I can’t get inside the characters’ motivations I can’t empathize. I think it had a creepy factor, and the narrative voice over was somewhat poetic. The characters just fell flat. And why is it that ghosts take out their misfortunes on those that just happen to be there? Not cool, ghosts. I looked for someone who liked it hoping I’d just missed some important aspect but I don’t think so. It was a great idea with a lot of potential but no one developed any storyline. I enjoyed your article and I am glad somebody was scared!

      • Jennifer

        I personally liked the movie. I just finished watching it..I really get into horror movies, but like you Taylor Holmes, I am not into the blood and gore. I like the thrillers..the ones that keep me on the edge of my seat and scare me. I don’t know why, as I often watch them alone late at night and I think I must be out of my mind. I was intrigued throughout the movie and the part that I could hardly watch is when Lily turned around and saw Polly and it scared her to death..That scared the hell out of me! Anyway, I agree with you, I enjoyed the movie and I like movies that make me think, even though I am not always thrilled with the endings of such movies…I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the movie.

  2. Antonio

    So I just watched this movie last night (Netflix suggestion too) and I really actually liked it. I also though Lily looked older than 28, but that’s besides the point, imo. I’m 26 and I look 20, so you don’t always look your actual age.
    And about the explanations, I would have liked it if the movie gave us some more clues about the characters lives and personalities, but this movie is really a contemplative experience. I didn’t really get super scared, just some small scares. For me it is more of a sad tale about dying young, while you are still in the prime of your life, “a pretty thing”.
    Polly was apparently a young bride moving into a brand new house built for her by her husband, who, to her surprise, killed her. For the look on her face it didn’t seem like she would ever expect that he would do that to her. Or maybe she did and the hole in the wall was the horrible confirmation of her suspicions about her husband. We will never know and I would really like to have had more details. However, I don’t really think Polly knows why she was murdered. For what it seems, she can’t even remember the ending of her story. And as she didn’t tell Ms.Blum the ending, and Lily was too scared to read the book, there was no way we could know about any details. And to me it makes sense in this movie. The details are not really important to the atmosphere, which seems to be the main point of this tragic story.
    Also, I think it is an exercise of imagination about the nature of ghosts and what it feels like to be one. It even has some very interesting and different views on “ghost mechanics” (lets call it that cause I couldn’t think of a better term).
    Lily tells us in the introduction that ghosts are not really bound to the place where they died, they stay there because for some reason they feel they have to. In the ending, she says she will stay to “have one more look at her”, as if she felt like she should continue to take care of Ms.Blum.
    Polly has her feet turned backwards, (which actually made me almost giggle as it reminded me of an old indigenous folkloric character of Brazil – I’m brazillian – called Caipora. Caipora is a forrest spirit that has its feet turned backwards to confuse hunters with its footprints. But back to Polly.) as Ms. Blum puts it, Polly turned around inside the wall so many times her feet now face the wrong way. This indicates some sort of ghostly deterioration, as if she was becoming increasingly confused, possibly insane (as ghosts often seem to be).

    So let me wrap this up before I write an entire book (I tend to talk/write too much) and say I really enjoy when I find this different visions and perspectives on traditional themes like haunted houses. Very interesting movie to watch when in a deep contemplative mood.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      So,
      I don’t know if you guys are all conspiring against me and saying to each other before you comment (tell him it wasn’t scary at all… it’ll be awesome!) but yeah, I feel like a total sissy at this point. But dang how this movie scared the crap out of me. Could be that I was in Haiti at the time and just generally scared out of my mind anyway?! I don’t know. Can’t remember where I was when I saw it actually. I’m looking for excuses anywhere I can.

      But yeah, nice comments Antonio. I have always thought that if movies were more life like we’d have a lot more protagonists just randomly dying because they forgot to buckle, or because they were on the front of World War II, #becausewar, you know? And that is sort of what happened here. She died. Why? She doesn’t know, so we don’t know. Which, sort of felt like the movie The Ghost in that regard. Which is another fantastic atmospheric flick like this one. Anyway, thanks for the comment, and don’t be a stranger!

      Taylor

      Reply
  3. Steph

    The worst issue for me was that it was such a slow movie. Minutes staring at empty doorways, sloooooow panning throughout the house. Slow, awkward interactions, especially with Waxcap – I found myself wondering what such an awkward woman was doing providing hospice care. Also as a sometimes nervous person myself – turn on the DAMN LIGHTS. There were lights and electricity… No nervous person would willingly move around in a dark house without turning on every available light. Just so many little things that added to the already empty storyline.

    Reply
  4. Kat

    Does no one else notice the chair in the dining room hanging upside down on the wall? You can see this the first time at the beginning when Lily is on the phone – just before it is snatched out of her hands. Don’t mind if you don’t as Lily does not seem to notice either. I’m not gonna lie – this totally freaked me out right at the beginning and made me expect a quite different plot.

    Reply
  5. Brook Crane

    I really enjoyed the film, but the back story on the murder was completely shaded and could lead to a prequel. Since the reason for the murder is not clear, we are left stumbling around like Polly’s ghost trying to find answers. Mrs. Blum the Author said, “Polly didn’t ever tell me the ending only what she remembered.” Or something like that, so what we actually see,is what Polly saw and remembered about her murder, the way she saw the events. Why did her husband kill her? Pollydoesn’t know either. Polly was married and was blindfolded by her husband to explore the surprise of her new home. She seems happy enough exploring the house blindfolded, like a game. Polly has no fear until she cuts herself on a nail downstairs and takes off the blindfold and then is confused and horrified all at the same time. Then her crazy husband kills her. That’s all she knows. That’s all we see, and the aftermath of him sealing her up in the wall. Perhaps that’s why she haunts. She wants to know what happened. She needs someone to find her and tell her story. The rest of it makes sense. The only other thing that bothers me, Mrs Blum also dies in the house. Why isn’t she a ghost as well? Also, at no time is Mrs Blum a unable to walk or talk. She actually walks in on Lilly when she is meddling with the t.v set in Mrs. Blum’s study. So why wouldn’t Mrs. Blum go looking for her after Lilly dies downstairs. From the looks of it, Mrs. Blum is on the floor in the end. Did she fall? How did she die, starvation, neglect? Did she hit her head? She died tragically either way and since the house was in her hands and Lilly was only a guest there, shouldn’t Mrs. Blum be the one who allows people to borrow her house? Not Lilly. So why is Lilly at the end only haunting? Why isn’t Mrs. Blum haunting the house as well. And, one other thing, once Mrs. Blum knew that poor Polly was buried in the wall, because she did know that Polly was buried inside the walls of her home, why didn’t she do something about it, call the police, take the body out, have it buried properly, try and find the history of man that killed his wife. There are a great many questions that go unanswered in this film. Despite all the loose ends of the story, I loved the way it was read like a poem. To me the story read like a ghostly civil war poem. I liked it a great deal and I wished it had been a book.

    Reply
  6. Jill

    We just watched this after perusing through Netflix movies and seeing that this had a decent rating. We were a bit confused -does anyone else remember when the voiceover was talking about being born and dying at that moment while being attached to the mother’s umbilical cord? What/Who was that?

    Also -i noticed a lot of metaphor with flowers. Lily spoke to the flowers and named them. The names -Lily, Polly, and Iris Blum(bloom). Blum also says how Lily will wilt.

    I hated that there wasn’t enough character development. That phone conversation at the beginning of the movie was torturous. And it contributed nothing to the movie other than giving the opportunity for the phone to fly out of her hands.

    I usually love psychological thrillers. This one though? I can’t wrap my head around how anyone like this.

    Reply
  7. Deb C

    I had the same question as everyone else, of course. Why did the husband kill Polly? Perhaps it’s silly to guess why a fictional character did something, but you can’t stop yourself.

    Maybe “pretty things” are at the heart of it all. Having pretty things, keeping pretty things contained, keeping pretty things pretty. I think it’s a given that the husband is insane. In his mind, he created the perfect house for the pretty thing. Polly. To him, Polly will never be prettier than she is on her wedding day in her bridal gown. He kills her at the height of “pretty” and keeps her in the perfect house.

    Ever see an old film titled “Harold and Maude”? It’s like when Harold gives Maude a ring. Maude looks at it, says it’s the nicest gift she’s received in years and immediately throws it into the ocean. She says “so I’ll always know where it is”. Crazy hubby will always know where the pretty thing he married is. She lives in the house.

    Reply
  8. PitterPatter

    Heck, what’s scarier than a bad movie? A bad tv show? No. A bad article. Right? It’s like, an 8th grader read a Goosebumbs and wrote a report. Cool! No. Not cool at all.

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Nice! I’ve officially made it to 8th grade. Finally.

      It never ceases to amaze me how fine people can be with being utterly dismissive and rude without so much as a second glance over their shoulder. So you thought the movie sucked? Great. Say so. But to throw down ad hominem attacks as well? Why?

      But whatever.

      Reply
  9. Maxima Santana

    Polly presenting herself as the “pretty thing” tells me about a vain and petulant person. It’s highly probable that others wouldn’t perceive her in such a nice way.
    Who was Polly and who was her husband don’t have to be told in a simple and direct way. We know the writer investigated that because of the box Sally found, it contained personal old letters and probably a dairy. Blum knew not only who was Polly but also how she was seen by others.
    Not being aware of how she was perceive by others is what killed Polly, this is told by Blum when Sally is brushing her hair in the bathroom, more or less Blum says: if you would see yourself as others see you, you would have survived.
    I will assume Polly was hated but blinded by her vanity, Polly was unable to understand she got enemies, probably the most aggrieved: her husband.
    Why did her husband (old and unattractive man) play with her the way he did? Hate and resentment work different in everyone’s head.

    Reply
  10. Chelsea b

    Well I didn’t like it. I thought it was slow, not scary and confusing. The only good thing was it would build up the anticipation for something to happen but then nothing ever did and it was disappointing. I kept waiting for a big “tie everything together” ending where I would get answers but I didn’t. just not my kind of movie!

    Reply
  11. Brian

    I watched the movie because of Ruth Wilson who played Lily. This move was too slow for me and I guess I just didn’t give it the attention it needed. Recently I watched Luther where Ruth played a character Alice. Now Alice is a wild psychopathic murderer that helps lead detective John Luther solve cases and gets him out of trouble usually by murdering someone. Alice is a much better role for Ruth.

    Reply
  12. Shalaina

    Taylor, I just have to tell you that I love your writing style. Also that I watched the movie a few minutes ago, but my confusion led me on a search for explanation. That is how I found yours. Thank you for clarifying a few things for me. That said, I am so glad that you found a movie that genuinely scared you. I have been a horror buff since the age of 9 (mom’s blessing upon me) and it is hard to find anything that can truly scare me anymore. I am in a constant lifelong search for just that. I cannot say that this one scared me at all, but the confusion is what kept me watching. It will not receive a bad rating from me, but not the best. It has it’s perks for writing and uniqueness!

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Shalania,
      That was a very kind way to disagree. I should take a course from you on tactfulness… of which I have a negative score. Literally a deficit. LACK OF TACT. heheh. And yeah, I get it most don’t dig this film. I’m ok with that. My track record here is pretty good… but I’ll stand by this choice. And maybe it just hit my sweet spot and I was just in a spookable mood.

      I remember years ago looking for really scary books. And ending up falling in love with the House of Leaves and enjoying it as a real love story, and not a horror book at all. But I was thankful for the recommendation! hahah.

      Anyway, thanks for the compliment. Thanks for dialoguing in spite of not exactly seeing eye to eye. That is a skill that is severely lacking in today’s caldron of a politically polarized society. Anyway… I’d love it if you’d share movies you found truly unnerving… frightening, however you might define that. Make sure you comment on other movies here too!

      Take care!
      Taylor

      Reply
    • April

      Have you ever watched The Babadook? That movie scared the poop out of me, and it had a pretty ingenious metaphoric plot line.

      Reply
  13. Dina

    I really like the movie. I was thinking that maybe it wasn’t all so literal, that Lily pulls a “the Shining” and just goes kind of nuts living there a year like that and it is all in her mind. But the literal story works for me also. I loved the slow pace. I think it was way more than a horror movie or thriller. I find it strange that so many people felt so strongly they hated it.

    Reply
  14. Jessica

    I just finished it and immediately wanted to hear other people’s view on this movie! For some reason I didn’t even realize that she had gotten “scared to death”! I actually like that not all of the loose ends were tied because it definitely lends to a scarier story that you can make up in your own head! I do think Ruth Wilson (Lily) is awkward in most of the roles she plays but there is something attractive and mysterious about her and it is the reason I watched the movie in the first place. The opening scene when she first meets Ms. Blum and the way she looks at Lily was creepy as hell!!!! Almost like she recognized her!!!!! The other creepy scene was with the arms decaying in the kitchen, almost as if she (Lily) was dead already. I liked it. I think I may watch it again actually, after reading these reviews. Pretty cool movie for a rainy, Sunday afternoon!

    Reply
  15. Victoria

    I was just curious why the writer was so fixated on pretty things..why the main character referred to herself as that, just for the sake of tying it into the story. But I guess after being alone for almost a year and the most interaction you get is with a woman that calls you by a name that isn’t yours one can lose one’s identity and begin to feel like a thing. I did find this movie to be creepy and the isolation made me uncomfortable.
    And the comment earlier about the umbilical cord, dying right after birth, Im still trying to figure that out. A new marriage can symbolize a new birth, and Polly did die right after marriage. But the part about the mother dying during delivery…I don’t get it. Sure sounded creepy though!

    Reply
  16. JC

    I’m not a fan of horror stories. I am easily afraid of horror films and I at most times would predict the scary scene and look away to save myself from the scare. Haha! I watched this film because of Ruth Wilson who I admire because of The Affair. Enough of my intro.. I liked this movie, though I could be biased because of her. I finished the film expecting to see more of what happened in the past, but this movie will let you think and imagine and assume what happened. Like when Sally died then Iris died, it wasn’t too clear until you see 2 stretchers in the ambulance, then you could tell yourself that your assumption was right. I liked this film because it wasn’t to messy and there were no close up of ghosts etc. But it was still scary! I found this website in search for explanation in the film, and I am happy to read your blog about it, and the comments which gave me few more insights about the film. Yes, being born and dying just after it could be related to being newly married. Yes, the beauty thing could mean that Polly was pretty but she had one too many haters, and maybe her husband hated her as well and married her just to have revenge or something, and the big nice house could be a cover up, so that no one could notice his motive, or he could be psychotic in the sense that he got something really pretty and would want to secure it to himself. But where did he go? It was said that the 2 of them disappeared after marriage right? And also, is the man walking in suit while Polly was walking blind folded the same man who is bloody and concealing the wall? I thought they didn’t have the same mustache. I thought the movie was slow too, but that was to add to the scare. It makes you excited to see the next scene actually. One comment here said that if Iris already knew what happened in the house, why didn’t she do anything about it, well maybe she already had dementia after she wrote her book, it didn’t tell what age she got sick. Why Iris didn’t roam the house, well maybe she didn’t have any unfinished business that is why? Did Lily also roam the house? The last scene still showed Polly roaming in the house. Well, I hope this would have a sequel, the main characters being the new occupants in the house, and hopefully, the sequel would reveal what happened in the past, answering our why’s. I hope the author would read all the comments and reviews here! Thank you for everyone’s comments!

    Reply
  17. Greg

    I actually gave the movie three and a half out of five stars. I thought that although it was slow paced, Lily’s narratives throughout kept it intriguing. I enjoyed the darkness of the film, it gives a suspense and mild horror to the film. I didn’t quite get as to why the husband killed his young beautiful wife? Which is what lead me to this site. I wouldn’t be surprised if a planned prequel is already in the works to answer questions from this film. Overall, I enjoyed the film.

    Reply
  18. lauren

    anyone have thoughts about the beginning of the book..talking about a baby being born and the mother dying? what was that about

    Reply
  19. Jenna

    I am always hungry for a ghost story that doesn’t disappoint.
    I understand that this film was intended to be and certainly becomes an experience that can be interpreted in many ways.
    Still thinking about it the next day. I found it totally
    unnerving to see that the ghostly apparition of Polly was
    most times twisted and confused by her death. Reading the
    comments posted made me think about those details
    intended to be noticed. The upside down chair. Much like
    Polly in her confused state. Her new husband must have
    planned to kill her and “save her” for himself, or perhaps
    from who she might become. Regardless, it’s a fine and
    quite beautifully done ghost story that is sad and thoughtful.
    I always have to wonder why someone who scoffs at
    someone else’s work has to go on a site to say how it hadn’t
    met their own expectations.
    Loose ends are a tribute to the viewer! Only
    those with limited imaginations need every little detail
    explained. I’m with you, Taylor. Scary enough and cool
    besides, and if someone is not creeped out by this film
    then I wonder what it would take.

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  20. Ned

    I was just happy to see Paula Prentiss in a roll. It’s still a “double standard” in movies in which male actors dominate in movies as well as are able to continue acting in roles past their prime unlike many female actresses.

    Despite what some filmmakers may think, it’s really not entertaining, interesting, or of any logical value to watch a movie in which the male is far older than the female who plays the character’s wife or “love” interest (for a more filtered kind of description).

    Paula Prentiss played a minor role but did it well. The movie she chose to act in was a good choice, devoid of meaningless bloody gore like slasher or chainsaw crapola. This film is an old-fashioned gothic-type of horror which wasn’t easy to guess from scene-to-scene.

    Although relatively dissimilar, the movie reminded of a particular horror film made in 1976 called, “Burnt Offerings” which was one of Bette Davis’ last roles. I realize many readers have no clue who Bette Davis is unless gen-xers and millennials seek out older, classic films.

    Anyway, this movie had definite moments of creepiness more like life in that it uitilized a very real occurance of people who become frightened to death. Check this topic out on the internet—it is documented as happening! Then look up if there’s proof, if there’s documentation of anyone being killed by an evil spirit—zilch, none, nada! Big sigh of relief haha!

    It’s still an ongoing discussion if spirits exist. So far, there is no concrete evidence or any record of an entity killing a living person; however, there are medically documented cases a person can become frightened to death. This film is scary based on such a premise as well as utilizing fears victims may haunt the home they were murdered.

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  21. Liv

    This movie scared me so much because it hit such a true topic that I think many people can relate to: the fact we may sense that something isn’t right about something or a situation, but we continue anyways hoping our intuitions were wrong. I feel like just about every human has done something like that.

    The part of the movie that I’m most interested in was when Lily was listing all of the things she “only saw”. Like when she stated she only saw the drawer that opened in the hallway, the water that poured through the holes in the sink, the bell that rings, etc. That part is close towards the end, a little before she investigates the noise downstairs and gets scared to death.

    Furthermore, I just want to point out that between the time she is in her room and the time she goes downstairs to see what the noise was, she heard two high pitched noises. The second time she heard the noise was right after she saw the wall taken apart, revealing what was making the mold. We assume that this was a noise from the flashback of Poly’s husband dropping a nail as he boards up her dead body into the walls. However, the first time she heard the noise, before she got downstairs, I think it may have been the bell ringing. If it wasn’t the bell that made the noise the first time, then it must have been what made the noise the second time. I say this because I think Ms. Blum died before Lily did. I think that is why when Lily is a ghost, and sees Blum’s body, she notices that the bell is tipped over, meaning that it had to have made a “ding!” or high-pitched sound when she fell over. With Lily being too into what may have been going on downstairs, she didn’t notice that the noise she heard could’ve came from Blum’s room instead of downstairs. This is another part of the movie where she is “blind”.

    Also, there are ceiling lights in the house, but she almost never bothers to turn them on to see. And when she sees the reflection of Poly in the TV screen, when she turns around, SHE TAKES OFF HER GLASSES. She purposely does not want to see, for she is too scared and does not want to believe what she knows to be true.

    This behavior is exhibited in many humans in various ways. Basically anything negative a human does that they consider habitual is the same type of behavior Lily had in this movie. Deep down they know something is bad for them, but they refuse to let it go for some odd reason of “comfort” or to “stay pretty” and pretend like everything is okay, when they have a strong feeling the ending result won’t be nice at all. It’s like peer pressure, or addictions, etc.

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