A curtain separates my living room from the front area. It keeps the room warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In The House on Mansfield Street, the camera was pointed at the sleeping main character. I knew something was going to happen. I waiting for it.
Then, my curtain moved. My fan usually pushes it but it wasn’t on. The AC never moves it. I just stare at the curtain, frozen. My mind was blank. The curtain just moved on its own. Then, I hear my dog, Oreo, at her dish. She moved the curtain.
Of course, I would’ve thought of that first if I hadn’t been watching a horror movie with only 3 candles as my light source.
I usually see an incident like this as one sign I’m watching a pretty scary movie. When something ordinary happens and my first thought is a ghost and it totally freaks me out. It doesn’t happen often.
The House on Mansfield Street
was like a British Bad Ben
. For 90% of the movie, you only saw one person on camera. Since watching and enjoying movies like Bad Ben
and Leaving DC
, I’ve warmed up to those kinds of movies. I used to think it would be boring spending 2 hours with a character talking either to himself or someone on the phone. If the suspense is good then, it could work.
This movie was quiet, kind of a slow burn. It got into the haunting pretty quickly. The horror did escalate but it was never overly dramatic. You didn’t get a climactic scene where the main protagonist or priest or spiritualist banishes the demon while it puts up a fight. There was no fight.
I don’t generally yell at movies but I was about to for this one. The man had clear evidence that something otherworldly was in his house and he didn’t do anything. In most movies, people would research ghosts and demons and ways to get rid of them. Some would call a priest.
This man didn’t do anything and the movie gave us no explanation. Maybe he wasn’t really scared until the end. They should’ve made that clear. This didn’t put me off, though. I was just baffled he could simply go back to sleep in the dark after what he witnessed.
The ending was weird. Not so bad that it ruined the movie. It just left me thinking “Why that way?” I can’t give too much away without spoiling the ending.
Most indie horror films don’t show the monster, probably to build suspense. More than likely, it’s because the filmmakers don’t have the budget for it. The ghosts are usually bad CGI or people in terrible costumes. The few times The House on Mansfield Street showed the demon, I was wondering why it looked like a dude in a hoodie. The demon’s form wasn’t scary but it’s haunting was pretty chilling.
The movie did strange things with the camera work I guess they were trying to be clever. It didn’t work. Sometimes, they’d split the screen. On one side, the camera faced the main character. On the other side, the camera showed what was in front of him. Didn’t care for it. Made it hard to see anything. I’m glad they didn’t do that too often.
Overall, I finished the movie and it spooked me a bit. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s entertaining enough. It’s a good movie to enjoy on a night in.