CAST: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello
DIRECTION: David Sandberg
MUSIC: Benjamin Wallfisch
This film continues the new trend of horror films going away from the tried and tested found footage and haunted house tropes. What we have here is subtle, psychological horror that does not rely on jump scares but rather, horror with more finesse, if that can be said. Think about Babadook, a low budget Australian horror flick that is on every list of ‘best ofs’ in this genre.
So, without giving away the plot, obviously, what we have on our hands is a brooding and doom-laden tale of a family in strife. A conflict-torn mother coping with a sense of loss, a son who is wise beyond his years (yes, shades of The Ring are also present) who is protective of his mother and everything shrouded in a grey, doom-laden cloak of colours.
There’s even a shadowy sequence when one of the characters floats down icy seas underground while sounds resound above the icy waters as if calling for help. It’s quite chilling, in a way that will delight fans of the blue-and-gloom demon genre.
If you’re relying on jump scares and thing that go bump in the dark, you won’t find it here. The horror genre has already had a surfeit of means and methods that rely on that. Sure, on the other side, the film can be dark and can be slow for those who aren’t into this kind of psychological horror. However, no doubt, it is refreshing to see something chillingly different in this genre.