Original Title: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Director: Oz Perkins
A very long title, so for now on I will call it “Pretty”.
“Pretty” is an American-Canadian horror movie from 2016, is the second movie directed by the actor Oz Perkins, who also wrote it.
Oz (Osgood) Perkins is the son of Anthony Perkins, the actor who portrayed Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). His grandfather, also called Osgood, was also an actor, with a successful Broadway career and also starting in movies like the original Scarface (1932).
Ruth Wilson plays Lily, an easy-to-scare nurse hired to take care of an elderly mystery author living her final days in an old country house with mysteries of its own.
I didn’t like it.
After watching a movie I always let it sit through at least one night before writing about. In the meantime, I read a little about it, try to see if there is something I missed or some context I didn’t understood. This time I stumble upon a great review and explanation.
After reading the whole article, the comments atop of some other readings, my opinion remains, but with more conscience about the film I had just watched.
I discovered “Pretty” in some random list of movies, it was available on Netflix and was an obscure horror movie, so I thought it could be interesting. And it was a valid experience even though I didn’t like it at the end.
Pretty is a beautiful movie to look at, very well directed and with great cinematography. All the shitty lighting we have in The Mechanism we don’t have it here, even when surrounded by dark ambient or even complete darkness, we can see what we are supposed to see.
Everything else is a letdown, and besides some creepy imagery, there is nothing else redeeming.
Ruth Wilson was 34 at the time but could easily pass as she was in her 40’s if she wanted to, but Lily was supposed to be 28. It should not matter, but her youth and naivety is a defining characteristic for Lily and for the plot.
The story revolves around the connection between the “now” and the house’s past, which is described in the most successful book of the house’s current resident.
Lily gets intrigued by the name Iris Blum, the author, keeps calling her by Polly. After being told that that’s the name of the book’s protagonist, she reluctantly begins to read it.
We get some flashbacks of the story told by the book while Lily reads it, she gets a (very) little affected by it and besides that absolutely nothing happens until the very end.
From the beginning to the end, my impression was that the movie hints at literature. Not just because there are an author and her book, but also because of the way it’s narrated, the pace, it all seems like something made for a book.
Edgar Allan Poe is easily my favorite author and I’ve watched lots of movies inspired by his stories. “Pretty” reminds me of some of his works a little, but it seems like it did not translate well to the screen.
It is not as atrocious as “The Following” Series but not as near as good as most of Roger Corman’s many adaptations of Poe’s work. It’s very gorgeous in appearance, but its book-like style and lack of magnitude didn’t captivate me much, so my verdict is 4 Moons.
Since I’m saying how beautiful this movie is, I decided to put here a little gallery to express what I mean.