A family moves into a new house which seems to be haunted as the mother Ranai Lambert (Rose Byrne) hears strange sounds coming from near the attic as well as in a room with her newborn baby.
But suddenly her son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) enters the attic out of curiousity while trying to reach for a light to look around then falls on his head and is hurt.
The next day Dalton is in an unexplained coma and is in the care of their home but yet Ranai encounters paranormal events that seems to even attack her as well as hearing strange sounds in the house and insists to her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson) that they must move.
These hauntings don't seem to leave her alone but Josh doesn't seem to believe in them yet she contacts some investigators to come over to find answers in which a friend of theirs who deals with these events named Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) telling them that their son is in a parellal spirit world and that Jeff must find some way of rescuing him of he agrees to be hypnotised in order to awaken Dalton from his coma.
The film seems to leave a nice old fashioned type of feel in the very beginning showing a sleeping child as well as discovering the other parts of the house showing a lipstick face demon type and then the opening credits flash on the screen which really looked very in your face and different than most openings too. Also it shows
The film shows a nice beginning with a mother and son looking at an old photo album in which he shows nice curiousity as to what his parents looked like when they were young. This moment seemed very heartwarming and a nice beginner to show some happiness before the terror begins in this film. But yet there's suggested hauntings like a door opening or some sounds which is a real bone chiller to watch too.
Then morning starts in which things look insanely busy and stressful
in the kitchen making breakfast and other stuff happening too. This seemed to look very lifelike with a busy family.
Then the sounds start to happen when the mother named Ranai hears some sounds coming close to the attic area in which this seems to be very familiar to a classic horror film we all knew back in 1973 as she goes and checks it out. The attic looked neat with a fireplace blaring and everything. The events seem very still so everything really keeps you in suspense.
Afterwards little Dalton hears sounds coming from the attic and tries to reach for a cable to pull a light to turn on as this looks terrifying cause he is climbing up a ladder and you have a bad feeling that he is about to fall and afterwards there's good jumping moments when this happens.
Then the father
named Josh steps into his bedroom to wake him up yet you have a real bad feeling that he's dead and this seems hard to watch as Josh tries to act uplifting while waking him up. But yet you know that this will change into alot of devastating moments.
Still there's alot of haunting moments like some hissing sounds coming from a room as to when Ranai picks up an object that's supposed to tell if her baby is crying the sound grows even louder to the point where you'd jump out of your seat it was that scary.
One of my favourite scene's in the film is when both Ranai and Josh are sleeping in bed and hear a heavy knocking on the door as this is another spine chilling moment in which you definetely have a bad feeling on this but yet Josh goes down to the door and everything is silent as he tries to see through the window but the power goes out in which leaves the film a perfect touch making you even more frightened and wondering if something surprising will happen making you very frightened too.
Something that was totally in your face is when Ranai discovers a demonic type of ghost reflecting in the window while little Dalton is still in a coma lying in bed as this is guaranteed to scare you big time by all the surroundings that happened in this flick.
I do have some criticism halfway through this film as there's two bumbling people who claim to be paranormal investigators adding humor to this serious story but this doesn't seem to fit in at all along with them using amateurish equipment to search for ghosts but that changes big time when one of them encounter a ghost saying that they need more help than expected.
Elise Rainer comes in as the one communicating to the spritual world in which this seemed to be well written in when she explains to everyone as to what has happened to Dalton which seemed strongly written in making the story very interesting on discovering another type of spiritual world. The setting was very serious and a bit suspenseful too.
There's also a flashback sequence which is explained by Josh's mother Lorraine telling them what she has dreamed of adding alot of good darkness to this dream sequence. It adds some great imagination as to what is happening here leaving alot of things very impressive.
The best is yet to come in which Josh goes in a hypnotic trance and leaves his body and then going on a journey to find his son encountering all osrts of weird things including what looks like a zombie invasion. Of course this is a perfect touch to the story indeed. There's also some neat artsy moments with strange looking people acting like statues while he tries to talk to them as well as battling some demon spirit while trying to be strong towards his son assuring him that none of this is real.
We almost have a happy ending until Elise takes a picture of Josh and he gets into a rage after she does so in which you know that something is wrong and a door opens for a sequel for sure in which I hope they will do so.
Bottom line is this film seems like a paying tribute between The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror but alot scarier and the figures in the film really comes out at these characters and not hiding then appearing like in some supernatural horror films do making alot of this look believeably scary. It's nice to see something like this one instead of all these bloody remakes and a must for horror fans who likes to get scared.
The acting is in good shape in which lead actor Patrick Wilson (Josh Lambert) really knew on how to portray his serious behavior incredibly well along with having a good blunt attitude too showing a nice closed mindedness too. He makes this seem very real to what he does reminding you of someone who doesn't belive in a spirit world. Plus he shows alot of great anxiety and adventureous attitude too when he struggles in the horrific moments as this was impressive too. He does a good job acting happy and witty entering a room. A nice job on him acting blunt about stuff and short with everyone which looked pretty impressive. Shows some good energy as well as good close up camera shots with him trying to talk towards an old woman in which this looked nicely performed with him acting still. He does a great energetic job by screaming and walking quicky towards his fellow actress as well as strangling her in which the blocking on this looked good and intense.
Rose Byrne (Ranai Lambert) really brought her role to life as a nice and caring mother showing a good sympathetic attitude along with really showing alot of great energetic attitude as well as getting to the point with things. Plus she was terrific with her emotional type of attitude too by crying on set as well as getting spooked out too as this seemed intense and high strung. All in all she was a good character actress. Showed some nice concerned expressions while hearing a noise. She does well crying when he's hurt as they really took his performance well by what was happening and looking realistic with a problem that has happened. A nice fearful expression on her listening to a sound and when a loud noise happens with her letting out a frightened scream which was quite impressively done on her behalf. She reacts well panicking while running towards a bedroom along with her screaming again as this looked incredibly hyped. Does a good job calling out towards her fellow actor while he's in his chair in a trance as this was highly energised.
Lin Shaye (Elise Rainier) certainly showed a great versatality into everything that she did as someone contact the spirit world by at first having a nice cheerful and friendly attitude and then later on getting down to business with her seriousness as well as her frightened and nervous attitude too. She also does well behaving possessed in certain spots too. Does a good job acting cheerful introducing herself towards everyone acting believeably friendly and life like. She also does a nice job on her glaring expressionless with wide eyes and acting crazy with her mumbling out words. Also does a good job acting very serious explaining on what is happening in which she was well focused on all of this. Does a good job sitting down with her fellow actor and speaking hypnotic to him as this looked nicely done. She was probably the best out of the whole cast and really coming across perfectly with every move she makes in it.
Barbara Hershey (Lorraine Lambert) really came across as very mysterious in her part of the film and had a nice hissing voice to when she spoke but yet showing a good warm attitude as she does this believeably well too. In a scene she shows a nice focus towards her fellow actress acting good and serious along with acting mysterious but believeably sympathetic towards her in which she seemed to really bring this scene with a nice style. I found that she had the most effective supporting role. Plus she had the right looks for this role too making her very noticeable with everything that she did in the film.
Ty Simpkins (Dalton Lambert) brings on a nice little boy charm to his role and certainly made his character believeable as a michevious type who is curious about alot of things in what he does. Does a good job climbing up a ladder in an attic and reaching for a switch in which he shows good struggling energy while trying to do this. I found he stood out well into his role and seemed to be a good key role to the story in the film. He can go places with his future acting gigs.
The music was perfect in which there's a great opening score with high and low intense violin music which was used in other segments of the film too. In other spots there's nice peaceful cold echoey piano type playing used which was also impressive too. There's good dark sounds too which suits the creepiness in where it was used along with great banging sounds guaranteed to make you jump too as all of this was brought together by Joseph Bishara.
Elise Reiner: It's not the house that is haunted. It's your son.