As horror films go, it’s more on the creepy, doors-creaking,
spooky-sounds side, rather than the gory slashing or gratuitous nudity.
It even has a cohesive narrative.
But there is some violence, and a rather sobering ending.
The central character is really the kid, Martin (Gabriel Bateman).
He’s a cute little boy who suffers from sleeplessness, because he
keeps thinking there’s a ghost in his house.
The weird part is that he’s right.
It seems that his Mom, Sophie (Maria Bello) is off her meds, and
talking to herself in her room a lot.
When she gets that way, she conjures up the ghost, Diana (veteran
stunt actor Alicia Vela-Bailey, in a decidedly unglamorous role).
Sophie and Diana, it turns out, had been together as teenagers in a
mental institute, until a shock treatment gone awry did away with Diana.
Sophie, meanwhile, recovers enough to get married and have a
daughter, Rebecca. But when
her husband mysteriously disappears, she goes into a tailspin again, until
meeting her 2nd husband, by whom she had Martin.
But at the first of the movie, Diana manages to do away with the 2nd
husband, also, because she wants Sophie all to herself.
And though Sophie has made Diana promise that she won’t harm the
children, she begins to haunt both Rebecca and Martin, trying to drive a
wedge between them and Sophie.
Rebecca is now a young adult, and lives by herself in an apartment
downtown, where she’s been enjoying frequent liaisons with her boyfriend
of eight months, Bret (Alexander DiPersia).
He can’t understand why she won’t let him spend the night, or
even leave a pair of jeans in a dresser drawer.
But Rebecca is running scared, because Diana has visited her, at
night, also. When the lights
are out, Diana appears, and when the lights come on, she disappears. And
her presence is not at all benign.
Martin winds up falling asleep in school a lot, and when the
administrators can’t get hold of his Mom, they finally find Rebecca, who
wants to protect her little brother (OK, half-brother), but CPS says he
can’t officially live with her unless she’s ready to sue her Mom for
custody, and demonstrate her own capability to raise him.
(She doesn’t appear to have a job, but then, neither does Sophie.
Perhaps either would be a plot distraction?)
Bret, always on the outside looking in, winds up being important in
the end, and by then he believes in ghosts, as well.
This particular ghost is not friendly and has a violent agenda, and
is brutally strong. Yes, the
jump-out-at-you cinematography will get your attention.
We’re just hoping all these apparently dysfunctional characters
will eventually find a path to “normal,” while we all revel in the
paranormal for a while.