Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Clare Foley, and James Ransone
Supernatural Mystery Thriller - Demons
While this movie is a bit slow moving, the depth and character speak volumes and actually make this a scary movie. The supernatural elements are questionable sometimes and the motivations of the movie seem weird. But overall this did really well. I didn't expect much. It had come out during a time when everyone was tossing a hat into the "subtle scary" ring. Insidious, Paranormal Activity, the Conjuring, and the Last Exorcism are all examples of movies that rely pretty heavily on this gimmick. It's not a bad thing, in fact it's pretty neat. It's literally that saying 'less is more.'
A troubled writer, named Ellison, seems to be going through a tough-patch both professionally and personally. He moves his family into a strange house out in the middle of nowhere to focus on rebuilding his life. However, Ellison comes across a mysterious box of Super 8 reels all featuring a family being murdered. He starts piecing together this freaky puzzle that may lead to a place that he doesn't want to explore and may put his family in danger.
I had written above about the subtle supernatural elements that are implemented with this film. It appears to be a product of it's time and nothing more. It takes that subtlety and pairs it with an intriguing and original storyline. The bad-guy in this movie is interesting. The lore that they create with this picture makes me want to actually see more of it.
By the way, Ethan Hawke was a fantastic choice for the lead in this movie. He did a great job as always. He actually appears to become tormented and frightened. Not like he has any shortage of fright. This is a pretty scary one. Watching it in the dark is definitely the way to go. Not a lot of jump scares but more looming and practical horror.
Some people online drew comparisons between this film and The Ring, but I just don't see it. Sure, both movies have supernatural movies within them. But that's about it. If you liked The Ring then this would still be right up your alley. It's really well made and popular enough to be enjoyed by most everyone. It is a great date movie. I am usually a pretty harsh critic for new horror movies but I couldn't bring myself to tear this one apart. This is a successfully scary big-budget horror movie and it's rated R. Thank god.
But what's with the names Ellison? Is he Canadian or something?