Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Hendrik, a sixteen-year-old big city kid, is vexed to learn that his mother is moving with him and his little brother Eddi to a village in the south of Austria. To make matters worse, the locals shun their new rustic family home because they claim it has been haunted ever since a mother poisoned her two sons in there many decades ago. When a sleepwalking Eddi starts carving strange symbols into the walls, Hendrik and his friends set off on a quest to uncover the secret of the spooky house.
Review: So here’s something you tend to forget when you watch a ton of foreign language thrillers on Netflix—they aren’t all meant for adults.
Firstly, I didn’t watch more than the first ten seconds of the trailer, which is probably why I didn’t pick up on the PG-rating vibe of this Austrian movie that takes some of its inspirations from films like The Gate or Monster Squad. Secondly, I didn’t know it’s based on a children’s book (of the same name) and third…well, there’s no third. It’s based on a kids’ book, so that alone lets you know what you’re in for.
Either way, once I realised what kind of movie The Strange House (also titled The Scary House) was it immediately affected how I would write this review. Adult me thinks at best it’s a mediocre take on the well-worn trope of “new kid in town comes up against something mysterious, makes weird friends, and together they save the day.” But the kid in me who grew up loving these kinds of films would’ve thought this was a fun mystery movie with some cool horror moments and a likeable cast of young actors.
I also tried watching this one both with and without dubbing; take my advice and watch it in its native German. The English dubbing here is terrible and sucks all the emotion and thrills out of this movie. It was especially bad in moments that should’ve been scary (at least for kids) or funny.
So I’ll split the difference between grown-up me and junior pint-sized me and say The Strange House is entertaining, but there a loads of horror movies for kids out there that are more memorable and energetic that this.
Sommer’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
So what’s your favourite kid horror movie? You can check out more kid-centric horror reviews below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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