Monday, December 12, 2016

Candidate #5

(September 2016)

"I have heard myself say that a house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living.
"It can only be borrowed from the ghosts that have stayed behind.”

After carving out an entire slot for himself in the ¡Q horror! 2016 rundown--for co-writing the screenplay of The Girl in the Photographs, and for his feature debut, The Blackcoat’s Daughter--Osgood Perkins is back, with his sophomore effort, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.

Here, we see 28-year-old hospice nurse Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson), move in with the elderly Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a writer of horror novels (“… [t]he kinds of thick, frightening books that people buy at airports and supermarkets,” Lily observes).
Novels with titles like The Dark Moon Flower, Underwater Housewife, She Wore Her Hair Around Her Neck, and--of particular interest to the film’s plot--The Lady in the Walls.
True to ¡Q horror! form, things do not go well.
At all.

Nothing more need be said, save that I Am the Pretty Thing… is the kind of horror film that advances with a languid, stealthy tread, trailing its horror behind it in a train of rotting lace.
If you enjoy the exquisite, lingering dread of slow burn horror, then you definitely need to check this one out…

“… [b]ut left alone, with only your own eyes looking back at you… and even the prettiest things rot.
“You fall apart like flowers…”

Parting Shot 1:
It’s interesting to note that there’s another prominent ghost in this film: Osgood’s father, the one and only Anthony Perkins.
From the prominent use of “You Keep Coming Back Like A Song” (by Tony Perkins with Urbie Green and His Orchestra, contained in From My Heart from 1958), to a scene from 1956’s Friendly Persuasion (for which Perkins was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), to the film’s dedication (“for A.P.” which I can only assume stands for “Anthony Perkins”), the late Perkins’ presence is very much felt in I Am the Pretty Thing

Parting Shot 2:
There also another Perkins with a prominent role here as well, Osgood’s brother, Elvis, who provides the film’s soundtrack, as he did on The Blackcoat’s Daughter.

(I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House OS courtesy of

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