“The hole has been there since the world’s first scream.”
Fun: 7 / 10
Most of the scares are of the “made ya jump” sort, and the movie is short on pure horror. There are some funny little touches, one involving a talking Cartman doll. And Bruce Dern is in it, playing an eccentric old guy, so that’s about five fun points right there.
Fun points deducted for the “this is so stupid, no one would do this” moments, which include older brother Dane leaving younger brother Lucas alone at their clearly haunted house way, way too often.
No spoilers, but the ending bumped the fun factor up a few points.
Art: 5 / 10
The dialogue is not terrible. Bruce Dern gets most of the best lines, and does them justice, of course.
Chris Massoglia, who plays Dane, is pretty one-note sullen, but that’s how teenage boys are, I guess? Nathan Gamble, who plays Lucas, was impressive.
Scares: 4 / 10
Not that scary, but it’s not trying to be. Think Gremlins 2, which Dante directed.
Dante also directed Gremlins 1, but that movie is scary.
Exploitation: 0 / 10
No genre to see here, folks.
Bechdel test: Pass (barely)
The mother, Susan, and the girl next door, Julie, have a brief exchange about whether Julie wants a snack.
DuVernay test: Fail (major)
There’s an Asian cop with a few lines.
Netflix rec for:
People who want a few scares without too much gore or violence. Parents who want to watch a “scary movie” with their kids, basically.
This comes off Netflix on 11/25/16, so hurry up, Dad!
No Netflix rec for:
Abusive fathers or people with a serious case of coulrophobia.