Movie Review: I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House creeps by on spectacular mood

Can a horror movie get by on nothing but atmosphere, on the the je ne sais quoi of its unsettling mood? I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House suggests that maybe it can. This curious object with a curious title is the second feature from writer-director Oz Perkins, son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins. Does horror run through the filmmaker’s veins or is he just a very fast learner? Perkins’ first feature, a kind of new-millennium Suspiria called The Blackcoat’s Daughter, is still awaiting its theatrical release, more than a year after it freaked out festivalgoers under the title February. With his follow-up, arriving on Netflix tomorrow, Perkins commits even harder to his singularly strange approach to the genre, turning a simple ghost story into an exercise in extremely prolonged unease. It could give Norman Bates the willies.

From the very first scenes, Perkins establishes …

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