Lack of originality isn’t the worst fault of The Strange House. It’s how the supernatural horror and the mystery never take off.
The Strange House Synopsis
After their widowed mother takes up a geologist job, brothers Hendrik and Eddi are forced to relocate to Bad Eisenkappel, with Hendrik deeply resentful about having to live in the countryside. Very soon, it becomes obvious too that the dilapidated house they shifted into is haunted; Eddi begins to display signs of possession. With help from local teens Ida and Fritz, Hendrik then discovers a forgotten murder. The two victims of that horrid incident previously lived in the house Hendrik now finds himself in.
Once again, the same situation occurred. Though cinemas in Singapore aren’t closed, fluctuating COVID-19 infection rates meant it’s, well, a far better idea to stay home. And so there I was again, at home on a Saturday evening, scouring Netflix for something to watch …
At first sight, I’ve to say The Strange House seems like a good offering. From the looks of the trailer, it’s obviously a family-friendly, teens-appealing kinda thing. But haunted house cum murder mysteries are usually intriguing packages, if not absorbing.
There is also a Stranger Things i.e. Stephen King adventure flavour. You know, kids in small-town confronting otherworldly evil. Riding around in bicycles, escaping from town bullies and ghostly evils. Creepy neighbours that the Devil himself would love to befriend. And so on.
Well, to be blunt, I can’t say the movie was downright bad but neither can I find anything to like about it because it’s so dry. The plot wavers between supernatural horror and evil forgotten secrets but never dares to venture deeper into either shady realm. It’s like visiting a grotesque limestone cavern but remaining at the entrance. All puns intended here.
The young cast does a reasonable job with their roles, although again, it’s all just superficial. Looking handsome, behaving geeky, smiling meaningless. I’m sure you get the drift.
The older cast? Lots of unnecessary overacting, the sort in comedies meant for even younger audiences. The secret antagonist practically screams at you from a mile away too.
In all, I had two hours of stuck-at-home sensation while watching this. I also constantly felt I ought to have selected something else to watch. For example, a movie with a shade more zest.
Read my other snappy movie reviews.