Movie Review of I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (2016)

I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House… But who cares?
NO SPOILER ALERT. Really, because you wouldn’t need one. 

Release date: October 2016
Directed by Osgood Perkins
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Paula Prentiss, Lucy Boynton
Runtime: 89 minutes (thank god)

The trailer seemed promising. Also, they had a pretty awesome movie poster. Who wouldn’t want to watch something as creepy as this? 

When I pressed play…

We are greeted by Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson), a late 20s nurse who is hired to care for famous horror author, Iris Blum. The author is old and has severe dementia. In fact, she never calls Lilly anything other than Polly — the name of the protagonist of her bestselling novel, The Lady in the Walls. (So yeah, “spoiler" right there. You’re starting to figure out the whole plot with that simple description right?)

Anyway, the haunting begins as Lilly stays there but truth be told, nothing really crazy happens — save for a worsening case of mold and a phone being flung across the room from her hand. At first, I wanted to believe it was a mere psychological movie thriller, and everything was in her mind. After all, Lily was starting to give signs that she wasn’t as mentally sound as normal as she looked. She had no real friends (no one bothered to visit her or FaceTime with her), was fine being stuck with an old lady (whom she couldn’t converse with) in an old and apparently haunted English home, and she didn’t even bother with Wi-Fi or any other means of entertainment. I’m not saying one cannot be alone anymore, but I had a feeling she was willingly stewing in the madness of her situation. 

The apparition that haunts her isn’t even that aggressive. If anything, it was more of a really dragging mind game. Letting the movie go on and on, letting us listen to Lily’s agonizing rants, trying to piece together the clues about this Polly character, Iris Blum, and her own experiences in the house. And at the end, when shtf — boom. She dies because of terror. 

Yes. Lily dies of terror when she finally sees that all her suspicions were true. YAWN. Maybe she slipped and hit her head, but right about now, I don’t really care anymore. It was so disappointing, I can’t even. And yeah, after she dies, she earns her place as ghost no.3 in the house. Hurray.


This bad photo edit is way scarier than the actual movie. Image from Netflix.

What’s annoying with Netflix movies such as this was that you can tell they had a budget. The script was gothic, melancholic, and almost quotable if you wanted to get something else out of it other than an expected “Boo!” moment that never seemed to come. 

The film had so many opportunities to go “all the way” with the scares, but it felt almost afraid to dabble in horror movie territory in fear of coming across as campy or predictable. But you know what’s worse than trying to be a really smart horror movie? A pretentious artsy horror film that doesn’t even scare people. Simply said, it was unforgettable afterwards. I felt contempt because they could’ve done so much with the material. For one, they should have brought more than 5 people in the movie. Now that I think about it, maybe they didn’t have the budget — just a really nice camera. So yeah, I guess this was more of a film school college project.

IMO, fun horror films are the ones that stick with you until after you’ve watched the movie. And as much as this movie was trying to bank in its strong female lead(s)(?), it all fell short trying to be this mysterious thriller that just had to come full circle for no fucking reason. 

You should treat this movie just as it did Lily Saylor: stone cold apathy. 


This movie is better watched with a blindfold on. Image from

Watch it or ditch it? 





Jacal Ste. Worme is a writer by day and an even crazier writer by night. Still working on her first official novel, you can read her countless mumbo-jumbo in various websites from, Wattpad, and Ao3. You can follow her on Tumblr or Twitter. 

Find out more about Jacal Ste. Worme here.

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