Our House – Canada/Germany, 2017

‘Houses are as haunted as you make them’

Our House is a 2017 Canadian/German science fiction paranormal horror film directed by Anthony Scott Burns (Come True; Holidays segment ‘Father’s Day’) from a screenplay by Nathan Parker, based on Matt Osterman’s Ghost from the Machine (2010).

The movie stars Thomas Mann, Nicola Peltz, Percy Hynes White and Christine Horne.

Ethan (Thomas Mann) is suffering from enormous guilt after his parents are killed in a car accident. He quits a promising future at MIT and work on a revolutionary experiment in order to care for his younger siblings. Unfortunately, he also invents a device that amplifies the paranormal activity within the family home…

Reviews:

“Choppy rhythm notwithstanding, Our House still comes down to hit or miss status due to dependence on formula.  A child talking to an imaginary friend. A secret passage exposing a hidden room. A decades-old mystery involving a wronged, restless spirit. The film’s list of recyclable tropes is almost as long as its very gradual ascent into action.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

“Using familiar genre themes as a way to explore the grief process, learning to let go, and whether or not there’s something beyond our human existence, Our House thoughtfully examines how those traumas can affect the familial unit, and how the worst of circumstances can sometimes bring out the best in people, especially when their loved ones are in jeopardy.” Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

“There are some pacing problems in the final scenes and subplots are tidied up rather abruptly, but these are minor considerations in an otherwise well structured film. With strong performances from all three leads and great chemistry between them, Our House breathes new life into old horror tropes.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

” …a so-so remake of the low-budget 2010 film Ghost from the Machine that comes off as run-of-the-mill paranormal thriller […] Better to leave the past behind is the message director Scott Burns himself ignores. Trying to improve on a rough-cut original, he fails to account for the ghost in the machine.” Brad Wheeler, The Glove and Mail

“Apart from some creepy-looking tendrils of black smoke that accompany the story’s early encounters, Our House does little in its first half to suggest that menace lurks ahead. And we’re well into the third act before the beats of Nathan Parker’s script start matching up to what we expect from a contemporary haunted-house flick.” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

” …the nostalgic resonances here only served to make the viewer wonder why we need this film. I liked the characters enough to watch happily enough through to the conclusion, but the engaging characters that the film did such a good job of establishing early on seemed, in the end, to be squandered on an overly unoriginal plot.” Dawn Keetley, Horror Homeroom

“It’s a classy film, filled to the rim with exceptional performances, well-drawn and sympathetic characters and an overall experience which focuses on those most important of things. While the visual effects are quite good – the film is never flashy. It’s simply authentic and simply good.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News

“Burns and Parker don’t have much new or exciting to offer. But with the help of a strong performance from Mann, they do a good job capturing one family’s feelings of brokenness, and how far they’d go to get back what they lost.” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“This is at best a mediocre horror movie. The story makes sense enough. The performances are serviceable to good. The pacing is uneven, but it’s a lean 90-minutes. It’ll likely be a bit of a snooze to horror connoisseurs. However, as I watched, I realized there is an audience that might well relish this slightly creepy tale of kids in paranormal peril. Kids.” Kristy Puchko, Pajaba

Our House won’t paralyze or cripple audiences via horrific spooks, but makes for a finely detailed fight against our own human tendencies. Anthony Scott Burns proves himself worthy in debut form, even if Nathan Parker plays it descriptively “safe” despite an opening vinyl record sequence that’s closest to Burns’ “Father’s Day” form.” Matt Donato, /Film

“As with Phasma, there’s more serious attention paid to the impact of tragic loss than usual for the genre, and the three principal thesps playing siblings give solid performances. But Our House loses nuance as it moves inexorably toward conventional scares that aren’t at all memorable — even the inky black, coagulating spirit shapes that eventually appear like CGI recycled from any number of recent horror titles.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

Main cast and characters:

Filming locations:

Port Hope and Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Release:

IFC Midnight is distributing Our House in the United States. The film had its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal on July 22, 2018.



Categories: 2017, paranormal, supernatural

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