Who's tired of watching good movies tarnished by subpar acting? For the love of Tom Cruise, I am. Like the aforementioned Cruisen deity, the actors in the movie are one-note individuals who, at times, cannot even hold that single note. This really pisses me off because the movie isn't bad. The acting is just terrible. Nowhere is that more obvious than with our lead female Annie. The movie opens with her damp-eyed and depressed in the passenger seat of a car as it rumbles along to its final destination - The house from Hell. She's lost her son, and she's sad. Cool beans, as the poet once said. But it soon becomes painfully clear that this opening scene is the best acting we're going to see in the entire film. The possession scene almost surpassed the opening bit of acting but became far too over the top for my liking. That actor tried his best. He really, really did. But there's only so much you can do with shit writing. Maybe he should take up being a Jack Nicholson impersonator? Maybe Vegas is hiring for such a gig?
One final note on the actors: There's this lady who plays a woman named May. It's obvious she's... had some work done. Botox... lip implants... something. It was distracting as fuck. I couldn't take this perpetually duck-faced actress seriously. Take into account that this movie was set in the 70s and her entire face seems out of place, too modern. I honestly never thought I would say someone's face looked too modern. This is the level to which I've stooped with my reviewing career. "Her face was too modern." Fuck my life.
So why did I give it two stars and not one? Welp, friends and neighbors, the storyline and special FX were not terrible. I dug the twisty plot, and I especially enjoyed the effects on the ghosts. Some of the gore looked amateurish, but the actual makeup and CGI-heatwaves on the returning family rocked my socks. I simply wish these special FX would have been in a better movie.
I will leave off with a note on the writing. The person who wrote the script needs a lesson in forced foreshadowing and exposition. More importantly, a course on why you shouldn't do either if you want to be taken seriously. Then again, if you deleted both of those things from this script, you'd have about fifteen minutes of dialogue in this film.
In summation: The cinematography was okay. The writing and acting were both garbage. The special FX on the ghosts was cool, but the blood and gore was goofy. The story tried to be something different in a genre plagued with the same old same old, so I give it credit for attempting something outside the norm.
Final Judgment: Wasn't a complete waste of time but you're not missing anything by skipping it either.