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I feel like the hype around this film really grew during its promotional season and the first couple of weeks that it was out, but after that everyone stopped talking about it and it basically fell off the face of the earth.
A woman called Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o) goes back to her childhood home many years after suffering a traumatic incident. Being back there brings up memories, causing Adelaide to fear for her family's safety. But is this all in Adelaide's head, or are the Wilson family truly in danger?
I have to say, I thought this film was going to be different. Based on trailers and Jordan Peele's reputation, not only did I expect it to be scarier, but I expected the story to be more impactful.
The first thing I noticed was that it had a very similar feel to Peele's first movie 'Get Out', in the sense that it feels sinister from the offset. Whether anything happening on the screen is actually scary or not, you feel a tension in the air that something is about to happen.
In addition to this, rather relying on jumpscares and other usual horror tropes to make it scary, it relied on things that could happen in real life - traumatic experiences, childhood curiosity and bad parenting. Like in most horror movies, so many of the things that happened were completely avoidable - if parents were watching their children, and if children didn't feel the need to wander off and explore. This made the film more interesting plot-wise than a 'this family moved into a haunted house' trope, but it was still annoying enough to have you rolling your eyes and talking to the screen.
In my opinion, the film is better and scarier in the first third, when the incident was isolated to the Wilson family. Everything leading up to the reveal of the people was really great, it had me on the edge of my seat. But from then on, things got more complicated and less fun and enjoyable. I would actually say that the rest of the film kind of ruined the tone that the first third set up. I would rather have seen a whole film with no other characters but the Wilson family and their antagonists, but with the same ending.
The twist at the end of the film added a whole new dimension to the entire movie. It's the kind of twist that makes you want to watch it again, especially if you look up all the theories and explanations online.
And then there's the acting. Every single actor was amazing in the movie, but a special shout-out goes to Lupita Nyong'o, who was absolutely phenomenal in her role(s).
Overall, it started off as a really intriguing, intense horror movie, went disappointingly downhill, but picked up enough by the twist that it's definitely worth watching.