TIFF16: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

A young hospice nurse encounters ghostly activity at the house of an elderly author in I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. It is said that a house with a death in it can no longer be bought by the living, only borrowed from the ghosts that live there. 28 year old nurse Lily (Ruth Wilson) learns this first hand when she moves into the house of acclaimed horror novelist Iris Bloom (Paula Prentiss). Particularly, Lily learns the dark history of the house, involving a woman named Polly (Lucy Boynton), which inspired Bloom’s most famous novel.

Director Osgood Perkins follows up his debut film February with this very poetic ghost story, driven by narration from the protagonist Lily. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a very low key horror film, which opts more to send chills down the viewer’s spine, rather than repeatedly shock them with jump scares. Some haunted house films that come to mind while watching I Am the Pretty Thing are Peter Medak’s The Changeling and Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others.

I Am the Pretty Thing is driven almost entirely by the lead performance by Ruth Wilson, whether it be her on screen actions or haunting narration. The film also has a brief, but notable, appearance by Bob Balaban, doing what the character actor is typically known for. Altogether, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a very poetic and chilling ghost story.

8 / 10 stars


  • Saturday, September 17, 7:45 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 13
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).