Short version: So, it's true. This one's definitely *not* destined to be one of the great horror films of all time or the next X weeks of "limited release". But consider watching it anyway, because it's really terrifying in five or six spots. Takes a while to build, but that made it more believable to me when The Bad Things Happened.
A couple more reasons why I actually recommend this one. If,like me, you can't get enough horror and thriller films, but you've developed zombie and vampire fatigue, you may find this one about the house of Rosalind somebody is worth renting to get that handful of very well done terror moments.
It's no spoiler to mention there's also a classic horror ending, the kind that seems understated on one level, then disturbing a few minutes later. After you've turned out the lights.
Beyond the scary bits, two things: great acting from the hipster guy we see the most of, and though I'm no expert, some of the best sound effects and overall sound I've heard from any film. Cheesy sound usually betrays low budget films, whatever genre. Not this one, it had major Hollywood budget quality sound on what I'm guessing's possibly a modestly budgeted Canadian board of culture film. And another good point: no shaky cam! Now that I think of it, better than average camera stuff all around --no camera man shadows where there shouldn't be. Many mega budget horror movies don't bother fixing wrong shadows these days.
What else it seems to me this weird little movie does a worthy job on...First, a familiar dilemma of the full-on macabre that in this film, turns personal: Ever been locked up at night in the house of someone you know who recently died? Most horror films in the Scary House sub-genre open with a night of terror in a house whose previous occupant had absolutely no connection with the unlucky over-nighters. So that contrast to the usual formula is a plus. Second, the question every horror film asks: Just how much assault can your belief system take in one night, that one night of your life when all bets are off?
Most of us, at some point, are going to be stuck, like this guy, spending the night in the house that belonged to some one we know or loved who's recently passed on.
Yeah, even those of us who're veterans of Burning Man and believe, short of war, we've pretty much tried it, so, yawn, what's left that could terrify sophistos like us? That's who this film's protagonist is, the worldly kind of lo-fi attractive, not handsome, not rich, not poor, unattached, self-absorbed hipster...and of course, those are all the reasons why this guy who looks just like the guy you believe you are as cool as, the one you see at the really good coffee bar you only go to on Sunday afternoons is believable. He's the guy who keeps making all the wrong decisions.
Anyway, this film presents an intriguing proposition for those who've made that real-life weird journey, forced to keep watch --alone-- in the house of the dearly departed, and for those who haven't...yet. You could say this film's a kind of negative road map, an example of how *not* to attempt to get through a night that starts out quirky and turns into something too terrible to ever tell anyone else about.