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. IMDB
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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 Polly 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, Polly, then Ms. Blum and Polly are just borrowing this house from the dead as Polly is want to say through the entire movie. So obviously the girl inside the walls is Polly. And Polly 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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99 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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  22. Crys

    I stumbled on this article after watching the movie and being left confused. I feel like you came to the same conclusions as me for the most part, but it has got me thinking….

    I feel like this film was meant to be taken as entirely metaphorical. With the filmography, the narration, the setting…. It was beautifully done, albeit slow, regardless of whether the plot was good or not. I feel like failure to see past what one wants to see was a big theme here. Polly didn’t want to see what others thought of her and Lily failed to see the danger in the home. In both instances it led to their demise. She talks about looling right at things and not seeing them for what they really are, and both “pretty things” did just that. Both were vulnerable, naive, innocent in a way. Polly let herself be blindfolded and led to her death. Lily refused to read the book or investigate into what had really happened, thus leading to her death. This also ties in with the flower symbolism. Flowers are beautiful, but fragile. They die when they’re “pretty things” and rot away.

    While we can’t make too many assumptions about Polly’s life (which I found frustrating) we can see how Lily’s fear controls her and how fragile she is. We can see how she tries to explain things away and hide from what she fears. In the end hwr fear kills her.

    A lot of rambling here, but thia is what I took from the movie. Beauty is fragile, and beauty doesn’t last because of being fragile. Blum knows this, and perhaps this is why she didn’t die to the house’s “curse” or “stain.” Blum faced the unknown rather than hiding from it. She saw Polly in Lily because they both refused to face the truth.

    The scenes with the distortion, my take from those is it shows how both women become trapped as ghosts. Polly still roaming the house, blindfolded, her feet backwards. Polly is confused, she doesn’t know what happened in the end to her, she’s lost in a sense. She’s still exploring the home that was built for her, blindfolded and unaware to what really happened. Lily seems to be eating or chewing on her own hand, I’m assuming out of fear. When we see her as a ghost she’s still hiding, still afraid. Peeking around the corner when the young Blum called to her, tentatively walking down the stairs when the repairman are at the door. At the end I assume she’s watching the new inhabitants of the house. She says she wants to see her again, probably refering to Polly. Whether or not she will face her fear…. I don’t know. I feel both ghosts are trapped because of their fears. Polly of facing the truth and Lily of Polly.

    Well I’ve written a novel here just about. But thats my take! It didn’t scare me unfortunately, that’s hard to do nowadays for me. But I do enjoy movies that make you think and piece things together.

    Reply
  23. Ealese Nelson

    I really tried to watch and understand this movie but I just couldn’t I had to keep playing parts over because I kept falling asleep from boredom…

    Reply
  24. Ned

    The title of this movie is a key to the story and seems misunderstood. The unusual sounding film title which may sound like an egotistical or immature statement can also answer another commentators question about “the baby being born and the mother dying”: This is a movie totally from a woman’s perspective.

    Think about it… If it were from a man’s perspective the title would change to, “I am the Handsome Thing Living in This House”.

    It’s a gothic horror type of film which focuses on the premise of a house haunted by females who eventually experience traumatic, shocking deaths. It’s actually open to produce another film should the director/producers decide to create another story.

    Also, the film is sort of a family and friend sort of affair in the way of casting and the director’s use of family. Brother Elvis Perkins delivers his talent background music. I am not complaining. Good job, Oz and Elvis Perkins!

    If this old-fashioned haunting kind of movie didn’t scare you then watch Red Dragon currently airing on Netflix. It’s a well-made film which explores a fictional story of cannabalistic serial killing which has on occasion occurred in society. It also presents the fascinating field of serial killer Profilers—a necessary psychological forensic investigation detection and way of solving of such grizzly crimes.

    Reply
  25. amy

    This was terribly written article full of spelling changes in the names and even reversing the character names repeatedly. If it wasn’t already difficult to keep up with that made it impossible. Find an editor ASAP

    Reply
  26. Patience

    I just watched this movie and personally I wasn’t a fan, but one thing is still bothering me. Is their any significance to the old lawyer (Mr. Waxcap I think?) having the “master” key near the end? I feel like they made a big deal out of that scene, but I’m not really sure why. It felt nefarious to me like maybe he knew something was going to happen and wanted Mrs. Blum to die. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    Reply
  27. Ana

    Five minutes ago I finished watching this movie. I wish I wasn’t a person who when I start watching a film I have to see it through to the end. It was so slow that if it went any slower it would have stopped. I thought it was a terrible movie. I have yet to be scared by any horror movie and I don’t jump at the jump scenes. I wouldn’t even call this a horror/scary movie! There was nothing scary about it! I almost fell asleep 3 times. I’m not sure what people, who gave it a high rating, saw in it. We all have our own likes and dislikes and our own opinion. Which I am more than thankful for

    Reply
  28. Rosalind Roberts

    I just finished the movie and really enjoyed it! For about 20 minutes I thought I had it figured out (that Ms. Blum and Lilly) were the same person…a result of the dementia). I like a movie that keeps me intrigued, trying to piece it together without plot holes and this did the job well 🙂

    Reply
  29. moviesandcoffee

    I have been trying to comment on this thread for about half an hour now, but for some reason, when I hit ‘reply’ nothing happens. Can you please help with this? Cheers!

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Sorry, I have noticed that sometimes the comment capability chokes. Which is weird, because I see your comment asking for help. But not any other comments commenting on the post itself. Usually it goes through even though it looks like it doesn’t. Feel free to try again, or better yet, email me your comment and I will post it on your behalf.

      Taylor

      Reply
  30. Elena

    I actually came here wondering if this movie had a deeper meaning or twist I didn’t get – is Lily actually Polly? Is Lily even a real person or just a fictional character? But in the end, I think your interpretation is the right one and the actual meaning of the story. The fact that Mrs. Blum wanted to give the house to another writer kind of completes the full circle. Mrs. Blum borrowed the house from Polly and wrote down her story. A new inhabitant will borrow the house from Lily and listen to what she has to say. In a way, the audience itself is this new person. I also understand why this movie creeped you out. It is not scary in the common sense of the word, but what it does masterfully is creating an atmosphere of strong discomfort. Nothing seems right in this house. I was unsure at first what to think about the movie, if I liked it or if I found it boring, but then I realized how much the atmosphere stuck with me. Like when you’re waking up from a nightmare and the real world still feels wrong, as if you’re seeing it through a slightly tinted filter. It’s been a while since a movie did this to me.

    Reply
  31. Lou

    I watched the movie today and I’ve been scared all day because of it, alone at home (I live in an old house). I’m a bit like Lily, the nervous sort. I shouldn’t watch ghost movies at all, which is kinda sad because I’m just the sort of person who can take the most out of them. 😀 I usually use a bit of fast-forward with horror because it takes me out of the film, so it was fun reading this plus all the comments, because I missed some things…
    Polly’s burial in the wall made me think of the habit of human sacrifice when building a new house. I don’t know where exactly it was practiced (one novel I read was set in France), but the idea was that the person buried in the house became a sort guardian spirit. It doesn’t go well with rest of the movie, but I thought that maybe the man wanted to build the perfect house, and put the pretty thing there to guard it.

    Reply
  32. Azhar

    I think Lily is the Dark Moon Flower. Notice how she fancies flower, not knowing shes gonna rot like the flowers she picked? She always wear white, it assures the sick that she is untouchable, like the Moon. Rewind back the list of books written by Ms Blum, you can see her lists of novels. Lily has been looking at the book entitled Dark Moon Flower first thing, but not quite knowing what does it mean and how it is very much related to her. She has been distracted by Polly. In the end, Lily as the ghost goes back in time to when Ms Blum is still young, I bet to reveal her story, like any other pretty things who live inside the house. Also, Ms Blum said that Polly has been missing after a while, but surprisingly come back when Lily move in. Because Polly has a mission, she is to cause Lily’s death. Thats why her story was one without the ending. Because it didn’t end with just her death. When Ms Blum confronted Lily in the bathroom, she says precisely to Lily “Youll fall apart like flowers.”

    Reply
  33. Jerky LeBoeuf Esq

    It’s a fantastic, terrifying film… but only in the right setting. If you watch this on your phone on a bus, you’re an idiot. Alone, at home, at night, in the dark… SHEESH! Perfect gooseflesh material. Also… what the hell is going in and out of the ghost’s mouth at the end?! that freaked me out terribly. It’s like soft bones or something.

    Reply
  34. JG

    Everyone wants to know the ending. Well the ending was her murder. Her husband suddenly attacks her during the reveal of the new home, she dies and is buried in the wall. That’s her ending. Anything that happens afterwards is his story. The point was not to provide answers since Polly herself never got any answers. She was caught off guard and murdered not knowing why. So therefore, there isn’t anyway to tell the why.

    As for Lily, she suffered a heart attack from the fright of seeing a ghost. Odd for a 28 yr. old, but it is what it is. Lily and Polly were not the same person and had no connection to each other. Polly was in the house because she was murdered there. Lily was taking care of the old lady. Their paths happened to cross one night and that was that. Now the next family will have visions of Polly because she’s still there.

    Reply
  35. Colin

    I enjoyed reading your write-up of the movie. To be honest, I almost didn’t give this movie a chance… and was ready to switch over to something else after just 15 minutes into it. That said, I’m in the process of building out my first horror novel. I say it that way, because writing a horror novel doesn’t seem accurate. So I stayed with this movie because, like you said, there are some interesting elements to it. My take on the ending of the movie, is that Lily wasn’t Polly… but was also Polly at the same time. I saw Lily as the next reincarnation of Polly. Hence, Lily is Lily, but was also recognized as Polly by Blum, and also Lilly herself recognized herself as Polly was connected to her.

    Reply
  36. Colin

    I enjoyed reading your write-up of the movie. To be honest, I almost didn’t give this movie a chance… and was ready to switch over to something else after just 15 minutes into it. That said, I’m in the process of building out my first horror novel. I say it that way, because writing a horror novel doesn’t seem accurate. So I stayed with this movie because, like you said, there are some interesting elements to it. My take on the ending of the movie, is that Lily wasn’t Polly… but was also Polly at the same time. I saw Lily as the next reincarnation of Polly. Hence, Lily is Lily, but was also recognized as Polly by Blum, and also Lilly herself recognized herself as Polly was connected to her. Glad I finished the movie.

    Reply
  37. Colin

    I enjoyed reading your write-up of the movie. To be honest, I almost didn’t give this movie a chance… and was ready to switch over to something else after just 15 minutes into it. That said, I’m in the process of building out my first horror novel. I say it that way, because writing a horror novel doesn’t seem accurate. So I stayed with this movie because, like you said, there are some interesting elements to it. My take on the ending of the movie, is that Lily wasn’t Polly… but was also Polly at the same time. I saw Lily as the next reincarnation of Polly. Hence, Lily is Lily, but was also recognized as Polly by Blum, and also Lilly herself recognized herself as Polly was connected to her. Glad I finished the movie. Sorry for reposting… comments not working?

    Reply
  38. Hine Marae Arboleda

    I cannot decide whether to like it or not. Im into this kind of movies… But the story itself was so predictable. I already have idea how the story would go. But i finished it, out of curiosity. I will not lie , half the time i felt sleepy. For some it can be boring but it does have captivating aspect that even though I’m half bored can’t stop watching just like the movie Man from Earth.

    Reply
  39. Ashley Raab

    Hi!

    I just finished watching this and so I haven’t fully had time to digest it, but I have to say I loved it. It did not “scare” me, per say, but I just think it’s a beautiful and tragic movie. Also, for those who found the characters undeveloped or unrelatable, I have to say I think you were probably not the target audience because I related so much with Lily it’s not even funny. Even Mrs. Blum, to a point.

    I went through the entire movie thinking that Lily was actually Polly. So the only disappointment I had in the film was in the end because I kind of did want some sort of resolution, specifically, I want to know who the story was being told to. As in, who was the voiceover monologue for? She says, “I have heard myself say…” but it doesn’t seem like anything scaredy little Lily would say.

    I thought that she was afraid of horror and scary tales because she was Polly and so as she began to forget that fact, similar in manner to split personalities, she created certain things to protect her from remembering. And then when the caretaker said he didn’t want to spoil it and didn’t think the estate would fix the wall, I thought that was because he knew she was just a confused ghost and there was actually nothing still wrong with the wall, it had been fixed long ago, and what was she was seeing was just her memories trying to surface.

    As far as to people needing to know why the husband killed Polly, I really felt no such inclination. I didn’t feel like this was a story about Polly’s murder. This was a story about Lily trying to see and remember what had happened to her. It was a story about trying being confused and trying to understand, likely much how poor Mrs. Blum must have felt much of the time with dementia.

    She says at the beginning that even the first night in the house there was a death and we see a ghostly image of Lily remain after the seemingly physical, material Lily has gone upstairs. This contributed to confusion in thinking Lily was Polly.

    Also, the rug always having to be flipped over seemed at the time to contribute to my thinking that she was already a ghost.

    So in the end, I really don’t know. I think that the young, typist Mrs. Blum was actually her ghost. I feel like perhaps Lily was still trying to get a glimpse of “her” meaning herself, or possibly Polly. Just trying to sort through the confusion.

    Overall I found it profoundly sad and wonderfully directed. I really like the atmosphere, the poetry, and the entire take on things from a ghostly perspective. I honestly think I may buy it.

    Thank you so much for your write up on this movie. I went in search of what others had thought because I enjoyed it so much but the end left me with questions.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Sweet comment. Digging it. That thing is long enough to be a blog post of its own! Hahaha.

      We have lots of movies here to jump in on the discussions for… jump in, the water’s warm!

      Reply
  40. Jenn

    I absolutely loved this movie. Like you said. A story within a story. Lily is explaining her life events while she was trying to figure out Polly’s. It was SO VAGUE that we were dieing to have all the answers because that’s what we’re use to. But in real life there so many unsolved murders and sometimes you never get the answers. It was more on the realistic side for being a paranormal movie. Which was refreshing. Might I add the soundtracks were so relaxing. Listening to the rain and crickets. I could literally feel the heat and humidity, the smell of the country. The whole movie was filmed in this one house. They never moved the focus from it. Loved it! And the creepiest part was seeing Polly walking backwards.

    Reply
  41. Xcalibre

    Is the subtext about all the pretty women that have been locked away in houses never getting to experience the world. Supressed by their husbands living life as a trophy or domestic servant.

    Ms blum doesnt know how pollys life ends but she knows the story of pollys life and that the end was likely very bad. We know the end of pollys life but not her story. Its a horror book. Polly was probably being terrorized by that dude who was either a stalker or her abusive husband.

    Ms blum says that if polly had seen herself as others see her she would have been pretty forever, but instead she does not and thus rots away. Polly has low self esteem, she thinks shes never good enough. She doesnt know shes pretty while she lives but realizes it too late. Lily also seems like a bit of a shutin possibly crushed by a fiance skipping out on her, she seems to have low confidence. Its not till too late she realizes she has trapped herself as the pretty thing in the house.

    Reply
  42. Allannah

    I adored this film. Stylistically beautiful, the writing and direction is spare and excellent. I think people who claim this film is full & boring missed the point. Why should you need to be spoonfed reasons why Polly’s husband murdered her? Why the need to flesh characters out. This is a stylistic, artful psychological thriller that leaves the audience to draw their own conclusions instead of feeding their every whim. If you didn’t get it, perhaps you should get yourself to the theatre more often. Four stars.

    Reply
  43. Matt

    Thank your for your review it did take me awhile to get into this movie. I did enjoy every bit of the artistic visuals it was a different sense of creepy. I however feel as though the ending is slightly different because I think Lily was choked by the ghost since she seems to be pushed up against the window unless she was just in such fear she had her back against the window. The reason why I say this is because beginning of the movie talks about house is borrowed from the dead. At that point where Lily passed her time was up. That is why I feel when they show the next family she repeats that same phrase as if eventually they will suffer a similar death. also the movie mentions the death of a child and I think that is why the husband blames the wife and kills her.

    Reply
  44. Paige

    I just watched this movie for a second time. First time last year. It scared me as much the second time as it did the first. From the beginning, the way Lily’s voice slightly cracks occasionally in the voice over, straight to the end with the girl getting a drink of water…

    While this isn’t an explanation of why the husband kills Polly, remember how the attorney tells Lily about the couple who got married and the last place anyone saw them was the center of town and then they disapppeared? And that the husband had built the house for his new bride with his own hands and before they’d even put a stick of furniture in the house they vanished? Polly and her husband are that couple and she was getting the blindfolded tour of the house when he took the hatchet to her. Doesn’t explain why or where he went after he boarded her body up in the wall.

    Just a thought. This movie is so full of lines whose meanings are hard to grasp. I loved it!

    Reply
  45. Taylor Holmes

    I took a lot of heat from people emailing directly to let me know that I was a pansy of the eleventh degree because I found this movie horrifying. Like, I’ll admit, I scrubbed ahead to make sure everything was ok, then back, just so I could make it through some scenes. The darkness was literally palpable in this movie. And I enjoyed how unnerving it was. It was fantastic.

    And can I just get this off my chest? The fact that we don’t understand it made it scarier. The logic wasn’t clear, it was opaque in almost every way. We don’t know why Polly died we don’t know why anything is really happening. It is just the epitome of unsettling. Constantly destabilizing. I literally kept saying to the screen OPEN THE CURTAINS – LET THE LIGHT IN FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!!! hahaha. But y’all can hate. I don’t mind.

    Reply
  46. Jessy

    Am I the only one who had the thought that polly or her husband had possesed blum?

    I say this because of 1. An answer to blume dementia

    2. She killed lily after polly told her too

    3. Possibly husband after all the horrible things she said to lily

    Reply
  47. oh_THAT_Keara

    As an inveterate “explanation collector,” I was immediately hooked by Pretty Thing’s explanation of what causes a ghost. Not (a) compulsion by destiny, some Heavenly administration, or some other external force. Not (b) the departed’s determination to finish some business among the living before moving on. Not (c) an unconquerable terror of what comes next.

    It’s curiosity that inadvertently becomes obsession, just like the insidiously constricting hyperfocus caused by infatuation, addictive drugs, gaming, and Internet research rabbit-holes. A person dies unexpectedly and thinks “WTF just happened?” (Is this why taxidermied animals all look surprised?) The person looks around and can’t see any clues, but they think they should be able to if they just look a little harder, and pretty soon they CAN’T STOP PICKING AT IT. Nobody else is around to stop them either; no helpful Grim Reaper in their new world, no hired monks chanting instructions from the old one. The Pretty Thing is all alone.

    Isolation is a HUGE theme in this movie. Polly, alone in the walls. Blum, alone in what’s left of her mind (I think dementia scares me much more than ghosts do these days. It might have similarly scared off any friends Blum used to have, hence the lack of visitors). Lily has at least one friend at the beginning, on the other end of the phone line, but then what happens? Is she too scared to pick up the receiver ever again? Is that why she puts off calling a handyman? Mr. Waxman, too, seems disconnected from others. He’s utterly bewildered as to why “the estate” (an impersonal, non-human entity) should care about exposing Lily to potentially toxic mold. Nobody’s reality seems to really touch anybody else’s.

    I watched the ending twice to satisfy myself that I hadn’t missed anything. I think my mental palate was randomly primed for “Pretty Thing” by watching “Khadak” the night before: another heavily ambient, often hypnotic, but sometimes logically disjointed narrative, albeit from a completely different genre. I like to think maybe one of those tractors set to drive themselves away across the Mongolian steppe in “Khadak” made it all the way to Massachusetts to pick up Polly, finally delivering her from the murder house. Hey – makes as much sense as s lot of other things.

    Reply
  48. Melanie

    ok firstly..this movie scared me SO much i had to watch it 3x .in section and during the day so i could get thru it. and i do this thing when i know something scary is coming i look somewhere else in the room where i can still see the tv in my side eye but not have to directly look at it. i too am not nearly as scared by blood and guts as i am by ghosts and frights and shadows.
    this was my prediction half way thru the movie. I thought the killer must have been a worker someone who came and did drywall or Plumbing in the house. I assumed when she is talking about having somebody come to repair the wall that she is going to end up in the wall as well.
    But after finally finishing the movie I have a much simpler Theory the house is cursed people do things in that house that they normally wouldn’t do first of all they isolate themselves and maybe it’s just the nature of isolation that makes them act differently than they normally would. Husband goes through a whole wedding and then hammers his wife and puts her in the wall and he left the paneling off knowing he was going to do that when they got there. I think while he was building the house something happened to him he got possessed Maybe then he kills his wife and stuffs her in the wall and takes off probably in fear of the house and absolutely destroyed at what he just did to his beautiful wife. Then comes with nurse who is so scared and timid of everything that she takes off her glasses so she doesn’t have to see and hides and doesn’t turn on lights and wants to live in the shadows but why would she do that if she was scared I would have every light in the house on? She also starts trying to uncover the mystery instead of just getting scared packing up her stuff and leaving and I actually thought the carpet being flipped over was that she was running down the stairs to escape and she tripped and fell and that’s how she died I didn’t realize she had died from shock and scare. I think the beginning with the chair on the ceiling is exactly the point at the beginning she doesn’t even notice and by the end she is searching.
    Anyway I absolutely loved this movie the fact that I’m talking about it months later means struck a chord anyone who came on here to read a review and spent the time to write their opinions it struck a chord with you too. thnx Taylor. 😉

    Reply
  49. Catherine

    Just watched this, so glad to have found this site with such a great overview and so many comments already! I loved this film – I was terrified watching it, the sense of isolation and darkness (both literal and each character’s own mentally confused state) was palpable.

    I didn’t feel the characters needed any further fleshing out, to do that would have been to mire the film in too much detail. Instead it was detached, as the inhabitants of the house are detached from their lives, only occasionally intersecting with each other. The atmosphere reminded me of a number of 70s movies, almost dreamlike (I’m thinking of Don’t Look Now especially).

    I have skimmed the comments and I haven’t seen any mention of Lilly’s mouth during her screaming at the end. It seems to have been altered to be slightly wider and certainly darker than one would expect. I found this deeply disturbing, along with (as someone else mentioned) the shots of the ghost eating or regurgitating something (also it put me in mind of David consuming tape in the TV series Legion).

    I could talk about this one for hours (the cyclical nature of all three women’s existence has already been touched on in the comments so I won’t start taking about that!).

    I have a few recommendations for you as well, if you haven’t seen them – “Pontypool”, “Triangle” and “Session 9”.

    Reply
  50. Taylor Holmes

    Hey there Catherine,
    Sounds like you had a similar response to the film as I did. Visceral and horrifying! hahaha. I have written about Triangle: https://taylorholmes.com/2017/03/27/triangle-movie-explained-reviewed/ – and I mentioned Session 9 on my mindjob movie recommendations list (https://taylorholmes.com/2017/02/03/help-me-build-a-new-mind-job-mind-bending-mind-f-movie-list/), but I haven’t written about it yet. Need to do that. And Pontypool was such great heavy metal movie closed box zombie film! – I talked about that one here: https://taylorholmes.com/2017/11/19/let-me-explain-why-pontypool-is-zombies-done-right/

    Seems like you and I are siblings separated at birth! hahaha. Don’t be a stranger!
    Taylor

    Reply
  51. Gina D

    Hi all, I agree with Deb C…I think there was an overall suggestion of keeping pretty things locked up and away from everyone. We know Ms. Blum had no family, children, visitors. Especially when we see Lilly with her new keys to the house with her name on the tag…then jump to the ending when Mr. Waxcap has the “Master” set of keys locking the house. I agree a prequel would be a great movie as well. It was a slow burn, but I through enjoyed it as I am a fan of Ruth Wison.

    Reply
  52. Jared

    I just watched the movie and I throughly enjoyed it. It is a slow burn but so worth it. I agree with Deb C in regards to keeping pretty things locked up and away from society. Especially when we see Lilly getting her keys to the home upon arriving with her name on the tag…then skip to the ending when we see Mr. Waxcap lacking up the house once the bodies have been removed the tag says “Master”. I took this meaning as master of the house…one way to see it. I agree with others a prequel would be a great movie for finding out more on these characters.

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  53. Heather Bormann

    I live in an old house, in an old town, with an old cemetery across the street, and I watched movie this in the pitch dark of midnight last night. If you watched this movie in a high rise over looking the city, you did it all wrong. I want to know why Polly was blind-folded, but it doesn’t ruin the movie for me that it wasn’t spelled out for us. I also want to know if those were Polly’s arms down Lily’s throat in that final, blurry scene. Catherine, I’m with you, her mouth looked contorted and horribly dark. This movie terrified me, and I loved every creeping minute of it!

    Taylor, I enjoyed your review, and I’m so glad to have come across this page.

    Reply
  54. Catherine

    @Taylor I can’t seem to reply to your comment, but I’m really pleased to hear you’ve seen those films too! 🙂 Pontypool was a revelation, I remember watching it and being so scared – the atmosphere they create is incredible. I’m a big fan of less is more, and they just nail it. I’m going to read your other reviews now 🙂 a colleague recently watched Session 9 and we had lots of fun discussing it. I’ve recommended I Am The Pretty Thing to her (and Triangle actually).

    @Heather – seriously, what IS going on with Lily’s mouth? My husband noticed it as well and we were scouring the internet for some sort of answer. I think the fact that so much is left unsaid makes it feel like the makers are trusting the audience to think about it and draw a number of their own conclusions… Rare in a film landscape where most things are explained, if not laboured and over explained! Also you win at the most appropriate place to watch a movie 🙂

    Two of my favourite series at present, Legion and The OA are both doing a great job of not over explaining as well – the great joy of a well made piece is surely getting to discuss it with other people?

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  55. Heather Bormann

    @Liv I now need to watch this a third time to pay attention to this high pitched tone you are referring to. I am also concerned with our assumed timeline of Ms. Blum’s death in contrast to the twisted and bruised ankle the film shows us. More attention to these details is required.

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  56. Jennifer G.

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed it already, but if you pause the movie around 33:42 you can read the first page from The lady in the walls book, where Lily notices a little dark spot on her finger and talking about that she is required to wear white clothes by her employers. Lily is actually a character from Blum’s book.

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  57. Sophie

    This is a brilliant horror film! It sticks to you long after you’ve watched it. I don’t think people realise it is told in retrospect from a ghost’s point of view (Lily’s). Many times throughout Polly whispers to Lily “This is how you rot.” That’s what Lily is doing as she goes over and over that year in the house – reliving it but gradually starting to forget details (remember she had a hard time remembering her address.) She is and then is not aware that she is dead. It’s a movie about obsession and stagnation. The atmosphere is creepy and sad.

    Oh, and someone mentioned that the phone scene was unnecessary. I disagree. It establishes that Lily is lonely and disconnected from community – much as Polly and Mrs. Blum are (Mrs. Blum’s is a self-enforced isolation since she become obsessed with Polly.)

    Those who were bored have ADHD and need to watch Sharknado instead.

    Reply
  58. Catherine

    @Jennifer G – I totally missed that but what an excellent thought. The more I read about this film the more I love it!

    Someone reminded me recently of House of The Devil, which I think is another criminally underrated film. While not as abstract as IATPT….. it’s got that same feel of being made a lot earlier (HOTD is 80s style).

    There was another film floating around on Netflix for a while called Mr Jones. It starts like any other found footage but gets quite weird towards the end.

    I still can’t stop thinking about IATPT. I’ve recommended it to a few people but it’s definitely not for the gorehounds out there.

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  59. hazem

    For those who ask why Mrs Blum died if she can walk. Her ankle was blue, which indicate that she broke her ankle and could not move and eventually died.

    Reply
  60. Terry Murphy

    I loved this movie. In my mind, stories like this fall within the realm of possibility, which is why I find them more frightening than horror movies featuring hideous, fanged, ghosts, demons, witches, monsters, etc. The pacing and atmosphere of this book called to mind Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw.”

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  61. Bo

    A nurse, a demential patient and a ghost walk into a shitty movie… yep, that’s it. This movie is just one big bad joke.

    Reply
  62. Luisa Perkins

    I just watched this movie this morning, and I loved it. So much dread in such beautifully composed shots. I’m a sucker for anything meta, and this movie fits the bill. I’ve been thinking about it nonstop since the credits rolled.

    Reply
  63. Lenora

    I finished watching this movie just a bit ago. I was a little hesitant because I typically avoid scary movies because I don’t want to chance too much gore (I can handle some but movies like to go over board sometimes), but I’m glad I did watch it. I’ll admit, it was definitely slow going and there was very little that could have scared me. My mom was extremely unimpressed with it and my younger siblings fell asleep after staring at their phones the whole time.
    But there was something about it that definitely struck me throughout and it’s hard to explain.
    I think it’s all the confusion. We don’t know hardly anything about these characters. We don’t know what happened to Polly and why her husband killed her. We don’t really know what was up with the ending.
    But the characters don’t get there answers either, so why should we? Ms. Blum left her book open-ended and the movie is the same. I really like the idea.
    Here is one of my thoughts: I felt that when Polly whispered in Ms. Blum’s eat near the end, she was giving her the forgiveness that the woman had asked of Lily, thinking she was Polly. Maybe that was what Ms. Blum was waiting for before she died. Mr. Waxcap mentioned that she didn’t want to leave the house until she died. She could have fallen off the bed after Polly whispered to her (maybe she just let herself go-not exactly realistic but…) since she had been in an upright sitting position, which is how she ended up on the floor.

    I really just want to rewatch this movie to listen more to the narrative and look for details I missed (when I won’t be around people complaining about it being too boring or the main character doing everything too slowly.) Honestly, I feel I might have to take notes during it and try to piece it together from that. I think it’s going to bother me if I don’t try to sort some things out.
    This was such an intriguing, thought provoking movie and it’s certainly going to stick with me for awhile.

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  64. Dean

    I have watched 24 minutes and 31 seconds of this movie and couldnt watch any more..I am greatly disappointed….. Lilys mouth is so distracting (in real life she obviously had work done – lip augmentation). I just could not watch any further. The narration is over explanitory and irrespective of the plot, the main character ruins the movie almost immediately…

    Reply
  65. Hans Kristian Nilsen

    Just watched the movie. In short, I actually think that Lilly was Ms. Blums personal manifestation of Polly, and that she «wrote the novel real» in some sense. Lily was what Ms. Blum wanted her to be, as a caracter. This is confirmed in the flollowing ways:
    – striking similarities between Lilly and Polly
    – Lily’s unrealistic nature (no hobbies, no social life, need for entertainment- much like how a person appears in ones dreams.
    -Mr. Waxcap was also without facial expressions and «robotic» in his appearance. Probably aslo a caracter in Mr. Blums manifistation (or «dream»)
    – At the end Ms. Blum dies, and her dream dies with her (Polly)
    – the new family in the end is shaded with other colours and the filters are lighter, and their behaviour completly normal, indicating that the «dream is over».
    -philosophical reflctions around if souls need physical bodies, blurs the line between mind and physics, and the ectoplasma seen in the ghosts mouth serves the same purpose, namely giving caracters, dreams and manifistation a sort of excistence. A different kind of existence, but just as «real» as the physical.

    On a larger scale, the house might represent or mind. Two chimneys, one giving oxygene to our fantasies (Ms. Blums manifistation of her novel) and one for real, physical Evenes (the family at the end). There are walls, rooms, hidden secrets and svare, all unforlding

    Reply
  66. Hans Kristian Nilsen

    Just watched the movie. In short, I actually think that Lilly was Ms. Blums personal manifestation of Polly, and that she «wrote the novel real» in some sense. Lily was what Ms. Blum wanted her to be, as a caracter. This is confirmed in the flollowing ways:
    – striking similarities between Lilly and Polly
    – Lily’s unrealistic nature (no hobbies, no social life, need for entertainment- much like how a person appears in ones dreams.
    -Mr. Waxcap was also without facial expressions and «robotic» in his appearance. Probably aslo a caracter in Mr. Blums manifistation (or «dream»)
    – At the end Ms. Blum dies, and her dream dies with her (Polly)
    – the new family in the end is shaded with other colours and the filters are lighter, and their behaviour completly normal, indicating that the «dream is over».
    -philosophical reflctions around if souls need physical bodies, blurs the line between mind and physics, and the ectoplasma seen in the ghosts mouth serves the same purpose, namely giving caracters, dreams and manifistation a sort of excistence. A different kind of existence, but just as «real» as the physical.

    On a larger scale, the house might represent or mind. Two chimneys, one giving oxygene to our fantasies (Ms. Blums manifistation of her novel) and one for real, physical Evenes (the family at the end). There are walls, rooms, hidden secrets and scarw all unforlding

    Reply
  67. Mary

    “was the upside down chair the single piece of furniture the couple chose for the house? perhaps that was it’s significance. and i thought polly was talking about her mother dying right after she was born “with sweat on her face” , dying in childbirth. this question is about another movie “under the silver lake” i’m asking it here cause i can’t get any replies on the site that talked about it, so if you’ve seen it please tell me what you think. does anyone else think that Sam was the dog killer?

    Reply
  68. Misty Moo

    I think, that night, Mrs Blum had an emergency but Lilly was already dead of the heart attack. I think they both died on the same night. Polly had whispered something in her old ear and then she was going up the stairs to her room… I think Polly knew her time was coming. I believe that was why Polly came back to her and whispered.

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  69. Lis

    A ghost story within a ghost story.
    Oh my friggin Gawd. Taylor, we so need to hang out lol. You mean, there’s someone else out there who was as excited about this movie as I was? I just watched it for the second time because I, too, was left with questions after my first viewing. I wanted hubby to see it with me when I watched it a second time. I’m with you on the whole horror/scary movie thing. Heads rolling, blood & guts, etc., don’t always make the hair on my neck stand on end. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some gore & horror flicks that I love. And Walking Dead? I know…TV show..but still..so addicted. However, I prefer the movies that get in my head. It can also be nice having a combo of both. But this movie left my entire body covered in chills. Finally.. something totally & completely different. Movies like this (wait, there are no other movies like this), are usually worth a second look. Actually most decent movies are. 99.9% of the time I notice something I didn’t the first go around. With this, it was the second time that I noticed all the books had the same title! Insta-goosebumps! Now, when I tried to explain to hubby why I wanted him to see it, my explanation wasn’t the best lol. I told him that even though it seemed slow, it totally had me. From the very beginning. I was beyond curious. Couldn’t turn away. I had to know and understand the story. Such a wonderfully odd, and creepy film. Talk about original. It’s funny because after a few minutes of watching, hubby’s reaction was “Whoa…” lol. When a movie unfolds the way this one does, you appreciate and really ‘feel’ those scary moments. In a more fast paced, or typical scary movie, those scenes can feel boring. Unsatisfying. Unappreciated. This movie is so different from the rest. It kept pulling me further & further in. Lily’s slow, cold voice as she narrates…and the way it cracks and shakes at the end. Truly frightening. Out of all the thrillers I’ve seen, I can honestly say that these ghosts were THE best looking apparitions. My favorite frozen in fear moment is Polly..walking backwards. No wait! What?! Those creepy, old shoes of hers are facing forwards..in the direction she is walking…while the rest of her body is facing the other way. Shudder. I love the way the apparitions move. Their heads and faces seem to blend into each other as they turn. I would not recommend this flick to those with a closed mind. And what’s up with the corner of the rug? I swear I thought that’s how she would meet her demise. Well, I’m glad I found your site. Thank you for sharing your views and letting me share mine. I know this movie isn’t for everyone, which is probably why I love it.

    Reply
  70. Mark

    Honestly, this movie was wasted potential. It had a very good thing going for it especially with the atmosphere and the music, but it just shat the bed.

    The main character was the single most annoying character I’ve ever witnessed (worse than Skylar from Breaking Bad). I honestly think they made her move EXTREMELY slowly on purpose, just so the film would crack the 80 minute mark.

    This film definitely used its budget on “edgy” cinematography, and wrote a script in 5 minutes.

    People say that people who hate on this film “just don’t get it”. But what’s not to get? Everything is literally spoon fed to you, and I’m pretty sure anyone with half a brain would understand this movie. There aren’t any hidden messages, and yes that especially means with the upside down chair. People store their chairs like that, ya goobers.

    All in all. I recommend this movie if you want to shit on it. I’m all about psychological thrillers, but there’s nothing thrilling about this. If you want to watch a movie with a timid-turtle paced nurse, a horribly CGI’d ghost, a senile old lady, and a massive house with only 4 of the rooms shown, then this movie is definitely for you.

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  71. Mr. Plum

    I am absolutely puzzled. Absolutely positively confused. Internal turmoil is setting in – how will I ever make sense of this? How does any of this make sense? How did it all begin, and most importantly how did it all end? The writing, Lilly, Polly, Miss Blum (not Plum?!), and all of the unexplainable spectators who seem to just be entirely unaware of the victims who lie just ahead. Single handedly, this kept me at the edge of my seat, yearning, wondering, and clammering! Absolute terror set in, especially when I realize that all of this was serious! Truly SERIOUS!? THIS REVIEW IS SERIOUS?! Seriously, y’all are being for real right now? Not only was the movie absolutely horrendous, but the fact that anyone would ever deem this “mysterious” or “scary” is more bewildering to me. I am more disappointed I’m the human race as a whole than the movie community. Disappointing.

    You mean this took place in a HOUSE?! You mean Lilly died from fear?! I WOULD HAVE NEVER CAUGHT ONTO THAT especially given the fact that I witnessed it. First hand. In the movie that is.

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  72. Katie

    What if Mr Waxcap was actually Polly’s husband and that’s why he had the master key and was so reluctant to tell Lily the end of the story and didn’t want to open the wall.

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  73. Laura

    I have just recently discovered your blog and I’m loving all the great movie recommendations. I thought this movie was beautiful and absorbing to watch. The writing, the dialogue, the mood, was all very beautiful and contemplative. I don’t mind that there wasn’t a lot of background because the immediacy and the rawness of the emotion is what drew me in.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Welcome! When new people come to the site, we have them stand on the table and share one embarrassing thing about yourself, sing a song for us, and we also have you tell us your favorite movie of all time. Begin!

      No seriously, welcome. Yeah, I loved the laden emotion, and near oppressiveness of this film. Reminds me of a movie I’m doing a write up for currently, called (aptly) The Hole In The Ground. I kid you not. hahaha. Brilliant. You should check it out. Very similar story idea in feeling, but not in practicality. You’ll see. Just watch it. Anyway, thanks a ton for coming out and commenting. It’s always appreciated.

      Tay

      Reply
  74. Laura

    I just watched The hHole in the Ground not too long ago and liked it, as well! I’m looking forward to watching all the movies you recommended here on your blog. Keep them coming!

    Reply
  75. kassandra a gooch

    I thought it was explained to us that the husband told everyone in town his wife disappeared and no one found a body, so he left with all of her money. The story of the house being built was told pretty early on if i remember correctly, before they reneacted it.

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  76. Rachel

    Not to ruin the creepiness of the upside-down chair on the wall in the kitchen, but it’s just referencing Shaker domestic architecture. The Shakers in New England often put pegs on the walls where they could hang their chairs when they weren’t being used, to get them out of the way so they could clean or use the space for something else. I agree that it’s creepy visually, but I don’t think there’s anything more to it than that. The house is an old Massachusetts house. Many of them have Shaker-traits like pegs on the walls or drawers built into the walls. Just in case anyone wanted an answer to this!

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  77. GuyMarty

    Thank you Taylor for your blog. I watched the movie last night and i liked it because of the atmosphere and the mystery, even if it is unsolved (which gives us the possibility to imagine an ending while trying to understand this one). It wasn’t that scary but that ”backward feet walk”, jeez, it gives me freaking goosebumps.

    One thing i wanted to add to the discussion is that i guess the origin of Polly’s story is to be found in this:
    i’m not english spoken so i wanted to check for the exact meaning of Polly, like which flower it is exactly and i found out there is a traditional English-language folk song (British Isles, Canada, Appalachian region) named ”Pretty Polly”. I think the link to the movie is obvious. I dug up an found the lyrics of the song:

    Pretty Polly

    Oh Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
    Polly, Pretty Polly, come go along with me
    Before we get married some pleasures to see
    She got behind him and away they did go
    She got behind him and away they did go
    Over the hills and mountains to the valley below
    He rode her over hills and valleys so deep
    He rode her over hills and valleys so deep
    Pretty Polly mistrusted and then began to weep
    Oh Willie, Oh Willie, I’m afraid to of your ways
    Willie, Oh Willie, I’m afraid of your ways
    The way you’ve been acting, you’ll lead me astray
    They went up a little farther, and what did they spy
    They went up a little farther and what did they spy
    A newly-dug grave, and a spade lying by
    Oh Polly, Pretty Polly, your guess is about right
    Polly, Pretty Polly, your guess is about right
    I dug on your grave the best part of last night
    She knelt down before him pleading for her life
    She knelt down before him pleading for her life
    Please let me be a single girl if I can’t be your wife
    He stabbed her in the heart and her heart’s blood did flow
    He stabbed her in the heart and her heart’s blood did flow
    And into the grave Pretty Polly did go
    He threw something over her and turned to go home
    He threw something over her and turned to go home
    Leaving nothing behind him, but the girl left to mourn
    He went down to the jailhouse and what did he say
    He went down to the jailhouse and what did he say
    I killed Pretty Polly and tried to get away
    Oh gentlemen and ladies, I bid you farewell
    Oh gentlemen and ladies, I bid you farewell
    For killing Pretty Polly my soul will go to hell

    I found two versions of it (there seem to be several others), one is shorter and ends like this:
    For killing pretty polly my soul will go to hell
    It’s a debt to the devil poor willie must pay
    It’s a debt to the devil poor willie must pay
    For killing pretty polly and running away

    I think the author got inspiration in that song for the characters of Polly and the husband (shall we call him Willie?). It doesn’t says it all, but it clearly gives a direction to follow if you want to build a storyline which somehow explains the troubles Polly got into.
    Sorry for the long post, thank you for reading, check this path, tell me if i’m mistaken and share what you find, and sorry for the not so perfect english.

    Reply
  78. Lucyloo

    I adored this movie. One of the most gorgeously crafted thrillers I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds me a bit of Nicholas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” because it doesn’t neatly hand you the plot on a platter, you have to actually think and fit the puzzle pieces together. Delicious! I think the director kept showing open doorways intentionally to build tension – you expect a scare, and don’t get one, which just increases the tension. This is the same trope that “Jaws” used – lots of long build-up and then boom! I agree with what GuyMarty wrote as well. Honestly, I just assumed that Polly had been messing around with another guy before her marriage, her about-to-be husband found out, played it cool, and then got his ultimate revenge on her. Remember this was the mid-1800s and women had to be absolutely chaste before marriage. Polly was wearing a blindfold because the house was supposedly a surprise for her as his new bride, but also a really intriguing plot motivation to get her to the hole in the wall and the realization that she would be killed. If you all go back and look at Polly’s face in that moment, she knows exactly what’s going on and she knows exactly what’s about to happen to her and why. As far as the husband “disappearing“ I’m sure he just ran off and started a new life somewhere else, because he had just committed a murder in a small town, and certainly couldn’t stay because he knew there would be questions. I also agree with those who feel Polly literally dictated her life story to Iris and the book was not technically fiction at all.

    Reply
  79. Maggie

    One commenter asked about why Ms. Blum was on the floor and how she died considering she had been shown walking and talking earlier in the film, and why she had not gone to look for Lily. As someone who has worked in hospice nursing I can answer that 🙂 it had already been around a year since the start of the film where Ms. Blum is walking-and shakily at that. Lily helps her to sit and tries to get her to agree not to get up without Lily’s help for safety. The ability to perform ADL’s which includes walking, transferring to chairs etc. is lost very quickly. I’ve seen people go from walking one day to being unable to get out of bed within a week, sometimes days. Especially in dementia patients and hospice patients- Ms. Blum is both. However, loss of ability to ambulate safely (walking) is often something dementia patients dont realize. If they have a need, sometimes they will attempt to rise without having the strength to do so. When I watched the movie, my guess was that after a few days of Lily not bringing her food/caring for her (one thing the film did not show was how constant and extensive hospice care is especially with dementia patients), Ms. Blum tried to get up, either from hunger or bathroom needs or because she was looking for Lily and she stumbled and fell because she didnt have the ability/strength to safely ambulate any longer and probably had not for many months. Abilities in hospice patients are very quickly lost. Still a lot of unanswered questions in this film but I hope I could answer one!

    Also I really like the theory that another poster had that maybe Mr. Waxcap is the husband! Maybe even the son or a bystander? Anyway, great idea.

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  80. Jebb

    Was actually pretty well made. Not an original idea but nicely crafted. Slow to get into but makes up for it with several rapid plot turns. One point I disagree with most of the above, I think Polly kills the old lady too. I think she whispers something in her ear that causes a heart attack as she is found in the exact same location (although fallen to the floor) as in the last scene we saw her.

    Not very scary and very few jump scares but enjoyable

    Reply
  81. makayla

    I am so confused. Everyone is talking about the ending of the book and talking about how it was never written…but does no on remember the part where Lilly is walking through the house and she opens that door to the dark room and pulls the box down from the shelf and reads the ending of the book? The pages are covered in mold and are pretty clearly meant to be book pages. Did anyone else see that??

    Reply

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