Firstly, "Poltergeist" did it better.
Secondly, bump-in-the-night scares are the best ever. They can never be topped. However, if you mix your bump-in-the-night scares that have so much amazing potential with a really bad script idea, then what you get is something so silly that I am glad I didn't see it in the theater because I would've laughed my ass off.
There were things that reminded me of "Silent Hill" in this film, which is strange. Either way, "Silent Hill" is way creepier, and that is sad because it wasn't really that good since it relied on game fandom and gore.
Real scare is the kind of thing that makes your brain curl in on itself because it's too afraid to tell you why it's afraid.
I have found films that do that.
This is not one of them.
I mean, seriously, the acting is atrocious. (Barbara Hershey, you used to be better than this.) The writing is bland, contrived, and downright ridiculous. (The Further? Really?) Let me tell you, if you want to introduce a shadow at a window, don't make it obvious. It's the background movement that catches us off-guard that disarms us. Everything that was meant to creep out the audience was about as scary as a 50s b-movie.
Also, your main bad guy? Yeah, that's some sad shit right there.
They should've hired this guy. He is far scarier.
You want scary? Have that shadow follow. Have it swallow. Have it form in weird ways and disappear. Have that photo have something...different...but not really strange. They show too much too quickly without giving the audience time to be afraid.
Basically, what I'm saying is they tried too damn hard.
Also, one of the guys who committed this to film did "Saw". Dude, that was creepy in its own right. This? This is an insult to the intelligence that created "Saw". (And, let me tell you, it takes some real talent to insult your own intelligence.)
And, if you think I'm just cynical because of my 80s gore background, I also love and find shivers in "Nosferatu" and "Phantom of the Opera" (Lon Chaney, not the other crap) and "Psycho".
Shivers happen when you tap into that primal fear of the unknown, the paranormal. This movie tried, and it failed. Mainly because it tried too damn hard. The people behind this film know better, and that makes it even more disappointing. Yes, most of their films are gory, but they were also that fuck-with-your-inner-fear suspenseful. Apparently, they forgot that with this film.
And, don't get me started on the whole "You've always been stronger than me" bit from the wife.
I will keep it because I find it funny.
And, I will pray that they will never make a second one even if the ending guarantees they will.
2 out of 5 Kumquats
(Also, Rotten Tomatoes, I am very disappointed in you. 67% fresh for this pile of tripe? I want you to go to your room and not come out until you remember what good film-making is.)
Maybe in the fifties this might have been scary. Maybe. Right now, all I know is the timing in this film is completely off. Horror is like sex, you have to have some foreplay, and, apparently, the guys making this film have no fucking idea...I'm just sayin'.