reel_reviews_’s review published on Letterboxd:
While I’m not the HUGEST fan of all of James Wan’s movies, that is easily the best part about this movie. His vision for this movie really shines as he crafts decent scares through interesting character beats and good use of cinematography. The movie was relatively well shot and had some really interesting camera movement ideas that added to the horrific feeling the scares/kills would give you. The investigative process in the movie was actually fairly interesting. Probably one of my favorite aspects.To be honest, the acting was not that great. The lead performance was fine, but the supporting performances felt super wooden. To me, the standout was George Young as the more grounded in reality character. I liked what he did with what he was given. Sound design is incredibly important when crafting a horror movie, and this movie does a poor job at its mixing. It tries to be WAY too quiet for the more subtle moments in the movie that it’s almost impossible to hear the dialogue, but they boost the volume ALL the way up for the frightening moments in an attempt to scare you, but it just is distracting and irritating. The sound effects were also pretty amateur for a horror movie. I feel like we’ve reached a new era in “psychological-slasher horror movies” between this and the Conjuring 3, and I am honestly not the hugest fan. There is a point in the movie that will either completely save the movie for some or ruin it for others. For me, before this moment it was a dull stock horror movie with no real interesting concepts to me, but this moment made me remember why James Wan is where he is today. Overall, it’s pretty boring in the first two-thirds, however, I think the last third justifies this to be a half-decent slasher movie with some interesting scares with some poor performances. The consistent thing here is James Wan’s excellent vision.