I normally don’t watch horror movies because I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to gore, so the title “Scariest movie ever” isn’t something I’d normally be attracted to. However, I am also not one to turn down free preview tickets.

So off I went to the cinema, with my two besties and goth friends in tow. No idea at all what to expect.

Basic premise: A young couple (Katie and Micah- the actor’s real names) recently moved in together. Strange things start happening around their new home. Lights turn on and off, taps go haywire, strange noises go bump in the night. That sort of thing. Katie is a wuss, but Micah, being the manly man that he is, sets out to prove there’s nothing there by investing in a top-grade camera and microphones, which he plans on using to… film what is definitely not there. Katie reveals to Micah that she has been haunted before. As a child she was tormented by a shadowy figure at the same time that her family home unexplainably burned to the ground.  Katie is afraid that these are signs of an impending haunting, but Micah thinks Katie is being a whiney little bitch. He sets out to prove he’s the man of the house, and there’s no such thing as ghosts…

My first thought was “oh no, not another one of these shakey-cam ‘Blair Witch’ type films. But I think it actually worked out well. Despite the entire film’s POV coming through the camera lens, Micah, in his wisdom, invested in a tripod. Minimal shakiness=no motion sickness FTW. Thanks Micah 🙂
I quickly settled into the film, almost forgetting that this wasn’t a home movie. And you know what- I got really scared. And it had nothing to do with gore or special effects- because there was none. It was the kind of psychological fear that we have all experienced at some time and most of us can relate to. Who hasn’t heard a strange noise in their house when they were alone at night and wondered what it was? This movie takes those little fears and plays on them in a big way.

Where the typical big-budget Hollywood movie’s idea of ‘scary’ is exploding chests and limbs being sawn off (yuck), some of the scariest moments in this film include the bedroom door moving forwards and backwards a couple of inches. It may sound lame now, but wait until you’re in a darkened cinema and the whole audience jumps!

On a more personal note this film was particularly distressing to me since I identified somewhat with Katie’s haunting experience. No- my childhood home didn’t burn down and I wasn’t being stalked by a demon that I know of, although my Sunday School teacher did say that the strange lights and dead people visiting me were probably demons coming for my soul and that I should pray to Jesus more- which didn’t stop me seeing them, and is probably NOT something you should tell an 11 year old who is already terrified of things she does not understand.

First comes the shock, then terror, then anger when no-one believes you. (“Don’t be silly. Go back to sleep dear…”) You feel like you’re going out of your mind- it becomes too scary to go back (I slept in my mum’s room for a week when it started happening to me). Then you end up exhausted from lack of sleep because every time you close your eyes you feel a hand on your shoulder, which is definitely not your imagination. You pray a lot, and cry a lot too. You feel like shouting “What do you want from me!!” and you wonder what will make it go away.

Suffice it to say that after watching this movie I slept with my night light on.

Pros:

  • It’s actually really scary
  • Somewhat realistic in places
  • Minimal shaky handycam angles= no motion sickness

Cons:

  • It’s actually really scary
  • Somewhat unrealistic in other places
  • You’ll have trouble sleeping after watching it in the dark
  • Katie screaming “Micah!” every five minutes gets really annoying
  • Micah being a dumbass

After the movie a few of us were chatting outside about the level of realism in the film, and what could have been done better. Most of us had a lot of issues with it. For instance, considering how desperate things got for the characters near the end, they never once considered camping out in a church, or calling an Angel Therapist to do a space clearing. They didn’t even try cutting Katie’s etheric cords or blessing their house with salt, which we thought would have been one of the first things to try in their situation! We thought it was also too convenient that the only demonologist was away on holidays and wasn’t even contactable through Facebook, or that there weren’t other demonologists in the country (you can find all sorts of interesting people on the internet!) But despite its shortcomings, all of us agreed that this movie was scary as hell.