The Strange House (German: Das Schaurige Haus) premiered on 14th May 2021 on Netflix. Based on the children’s book by Martina Wildner, the 99-minute long film stars León Orlandianyi, Benno Roßkopf, and Julia Koschitz alongside other cast members.
Spirits Of The Deceased
It takes a lot of effort to make a horror film that does not end up funny or horror-less. It’s a thin line that must not be crossed but The Strange House is not what you might ask for in a horror flick. Set in a small village in Austria, The Strange House revolves around the life of a single mother Sabine and her two sons Hendrik and Eddi. Things are seemingly fine but it all starts crumbling down as the family shifts from a town in Germany to this village.
It isn’t long after that the viewers get the idea that something is wrong with the house as everything about it is creepy, ranging from its looks to aura. Eddi starts sleepwalking and carving objects into the wall, an attic door opens on its own, and family pictures vanish from the walls only to be replaced by photos of the previous family who lived there. They soon discover that their home has been haunted since a mother poisoned her two sons and then herself with mushrooms in 1980. To resolve this ghostly problem Hendrik, along with his two new friends Fritz and Ida, seek answers.
As the film continues we see Henrik, Ida, Fritz, and Eddi trying to solve this ghostly murder mystery with all of themselves alongside the ghosts of the boys who died back in 1980. Will they succeed or not is a journey we follow!
The Strange House follows the same, very basic concept of “oh! my new house is haunted” like every other horror film but at the same time there are zero jump scares in the movie whatsoever. It might as well work as a good family night film as there is a group of kids literally behaving like ghostbusters and not even flinching upon seeing ghosts. But the film is not the horror fest you might want. While the film isn’t scary, it is adorable because of its cast. Lars Bitterlich as Fritz is adorable and fearless, undeniably.
One of the biggest flaws in The Strange House is that it easily loses depth and forgets about the family’s arrival in town. As a consequence, we see Hendrik transform from a frustrated and angry young adolescent to a logical and rational teenage male which does not exactly work in the favour of the film as the transition is nowhere to be seen. At major points, the film leaves character development behind leading viewers to not exactly connect with them.
Summing up, The Strange House is not a horror film any fan would stan. The storyline lacks conviction, there are no scary moments, and most importantly there is neither a good character arc nor highs and lows, the film goes on a straight line with predictability.
Stream It or Skip It
SKIP IT! The Strange House is only worth your time when you’re looking for a family horror flick with an adorable cast and no scares. I just wish the revelation towards the end (which is also the strongest scene) contained more depth and detail rather than being bland.
The Strange House is streaming now on Netflix
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