“The hole has been there since the world’s first scream.”
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.
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.
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.
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
There’s an Asian cop with a few lines.