They Live Inside Us

They Live Inside Us ★★

Michael Ballif’s follow-up to the atmospheric anthology The Witching Season (which is strangely not on Letterboxd anymore) retells the final segment from that film in a full-length format. The result is...mixed. I wasn’t a huge fan of the story’s approach in The Witching Season, and while new elements are incorporated, the same issues still crop up. As a writer, this character is a lesson in what not to do. He launches into three different writing sessions with the same exact premise. The only difference is the setting and horror fiend stalking the woman. It could be fun if there was more to these pieces, but they come and go too quickly to be able to really reach their full potential. I suppose that’s the point, in some respects, but it doesn’t translate to a great viewing experience is my thing.

When our dude isn’t writing, he’s wandering around this haunted house looking scared/confused about 90% of the time. The movie wants to have drama and scares, but it feels too thin for the former and repetitive for the latter. Pieces of recent haunters find their way into this one like the ol’ innocent-song-repurposed-for-creepiness cliche, but it doesn’t amount to much beyond a pale imitation. 

Still, there’s plenty of witching season atmosphere, and the foundation is there for a good—even great—horror movie. Looking forward to seeing what Ballif does next. This one just hit Prime recently, so give it a watch if you’re starving for some Halloween vibes.

Added to:
2020 Horror — D Edward Ranks (15 of 32)