What’s the story?
Theo Conroy is a middle-aged retired banker with a young actress wife, Susanna, and a beautiful 6-year-old daughter named Ella. Theo has a dark past and it is revealed that his previous wife took some pills and drowned in the bathtub after which Theo had to face an extensive trial and people still hate him. He has frequent nightmares and to control his insecurities and anxiety, he follows a guided meditation and journals his thoughts. His relationship with his Susanna starts to deteriorate, so they plan a family vacation and book a house in the Welsh countryside to have some relaxing family time.
After they move in the modern and remote vacation house, weird things start happening and their family begins to unravel after Theo becomes suspicious that his wife is cheating on him. During a grocery store visit, the shopkeeper tells Theo about the history of the place and Mr. Stetler, who is the mysterious owner of the house.
Theo is befuddled by the architecture of the house; the house looks larger on the inside with magically appearing doors and many creepy corridors that give this house a maze-like feeling. Moreover, he finds a creepy message in his journal asking him to leave the house right now. While he fights with the horrors of his past, Theo must save his daughter from whatever is lurking in the corners of this house.
Is it any good?
This is a typical haunted house movie but without any genuine jump-scares. Theo is the main lead around whom this movie revolves and his relationship with his wife is complicated as he is much older and always insecure that his wife might be cheating on him. Theo’s relationship with his daughter adds a sense of warmth to the movie but something is missing from how the characters are portrayed which makes it hard to relate to any of them.
It hints at being a psychological thriller but in the effort to make it complex and twisted, it becomes rather boring and it is hard not to lose interest in it even when so many things are happening. All the horror scenes are the ones we are already familiar with and are seen in various movies of this genre; this makes every scene predictable and the terrorizing element loses its charm. There is a decent plot twist but, by the time it is revealed, it has already become quite obvious and there is no element of surprise left.
The only good thing about this movie is the cinematography. The picturesque view of the Welsh countryside with a modern looking home amidst the fields is a sight to watch. Inside the house, when each door leads Theo into a new corridor, the only thing keeping the suspense alive at this point is the camera work as it plays with long corridors, angled shots and light effects. Other than that, this movie makes you wait for it to get better, but it never does.
The movie follows a family of three, with Theo being the main lead, as they move into a haunted house for a few days. Predictable plot and ineffective scary scenes make this movie monotonous and dull. It feels like something you have watched before because it offers nothing new to its genre. It will turn out to be a decent psychological thriller if you are new to this genre and have not watched anything like this before; but if you have and are looking for something new and thrilling, you will be disappointed.