I actually enjoyed this one! HEAVY SPOILERS THROUGHOUT but I was surprised that they had the cojones to follow through with the ending. Sometimes the story ain’t about the protagonists overcoming the odds. Sometimes, the story is a cautionary tale of meddling with forces greater than man. Of failing to move on after a tragedy, of not processing one’s grief and coming to terms with it. A story that still made me go “ugh, not zombies again!?” Failure on my part for not reading the book written by a think-tank. What can ya do?
Jason Clarke as the lead character, Dr. Louis Creed, was excellent. A little rough to start, but he grew on me as the plot went on. Although I had different motivations as to how I treated the characters than most audiences… I was rooting for his dumbass to pay the consequences. Not out of malice for the character, but out of hoping for once they have a dark story. They delivered it. Though reading of the alternate ending, I would have preferred that one. That one is a more delicious emotional turmoil of character. I mean if we’re going for horror, may as well go all out. What’s more grim than living with malevolent spirits posing in the flesh of your wife, daughter, cat, and potentially son? Top notch horror.
Amy Seimetz as Rachel Creed, the good doctor’s wife, had a whole subplot of horror all on her own. Traumatized by the death of her sickly sister, that she had inadvertently caused through her laziness and fear, her character was forced to relive that moment through haunting visions while living in their new home. Mostly caused by the idea of speaking about death to their young daughter which reminded her of herself. Plenty of psychological horror with that one, especially when she meets her grisly demise at the hands of her undead daughter. But not before being made to confess to being glad her sister died and that she secretly prayed for it when she was younger. More delicious emotional turmoil for horror aficionados.
John Lithgow was the only light in the movie, but even his character was tainted because he wittingly invited this evil upon his new neighbors. I liked that message, if something turns out to be an evil spirit, don’t trust it that this time it won’t be an evil spirit. Also the whole “don’t meddle with ancient forces that you know nothing about especially when they involve ancient Native American legends. See, I ain’t even gonna write it out. Some words shouldn’t be said.” That whole deal.
From a horror standpoint, it was excellent. From a logical standpoint, all of this could have been avoided if you built a fence next to the road with the speeding trucks. Add a large gate. Secondly, if an old white dude ushers you to follow him deep into the woods, after climbing over a clearly foreboding tree wall, and you’ve been seeing hallucinations of a recently dead man warning you against it, just maybe think “hey, this is weird, I’m going back to my initial hole.” Unfortunately, horror requires our sacrificial victims to be dumbasses. And when that happens, my mind switches from being scared for our protagonists to “I wonder how just badly you’ll be suffering the consequences, you monumental imbeciles.”
I digress, it was good movie. I liked how when the camera focused on a certain part in a scene, and it being horror, so you just know that at any moment something is gonna happen. Especially if the camera gaze lingers for a second, that’s when BAM, I close my eyes! I ain’t seeing that gory shit. I can hear the sound effects just fine. Despite that, I still liked the movie and I’d recommend it for horror in this spooky month.