Haunted House Movie – The Yellow Wallpaper (2012)

I love a haunted house movie. I love ghost movies of just about every kind, but haunted house movies rank the highest for me. The problem with ghost movies is there aren’t enough of them. Or should I say . . . there aren’t enough of the good ones?

And I love it when I find a new ghost movie that I’ve never heard of. It’s like a little treasure in an ocean of movie … duds. Or movie flops, take your pick. When the rare find turns out to be pretty good, that is a bonus.

What About The Movie?

Right. The movie.

To me, The Yellow Wallpaper was good. I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone and claim that the acting was superior as there are definitely movies out there with better acting. I wouldn’t say it was Oscar-worthy or anything of that caliber. But I did watch the film more than once, and that is rare for me. So if that is any indication, then there you go.

The Yellow Wallpaper is a modern interpretation (re-invention, actually) of a short story written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892. The original version depicted one woman’s descent into madness. In this movie version, however, instead of madness (per se), Charlotte is haunted by her deceased daughter who died in a fire.

The Plot

Backing up a bit – three adults (a man and his wife, along with her sister) rent a house afer their own home is burnt to the ground. The daughter of the couple didn’t survive the fire and the couple experiences issues between them as they grieve. This is a subplot, but contributes nicely to the overall predicament.

The overall predicament is that the house they moved into is apparantly haunted. There are noises in the attic, whispy glimpses of people in the shadows, and strangers who appear out of nowhere. All the ghosts in the house are supposedly trying to deter the folks from living there. Although the mother is haunted by her dead daughter, other members of the family experience the same unusual things.

After numerous unnerving and unexplainable happenings, the sister decides to bring in someone who she feels will be able to determine if their experiences are paranormal or mere craziness. Turns out the house is decidedly haunted and visitations from the deceased daughter are not actually her, but evil and dangerous beings from the dark side. I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you, I didn’t see it coming.

One clue is that the attic, with its yellow wallpaper seems to move. Charlotte, the mother, knows this because she spends a great deal of time up in the attic doing her writing. What is it behind the wall that makes the wallpaper move?

This atmospheric and somewhat creepy film takes place in 1892 with costumes and furnishings of the day. It is murky and suspenseful and doesn’t give away its secrets until the very end of the film. For me, it took  several viewings before the dots connected and the woven web became clear.

If you love period costumes and stories from a bygone era, or if you like a suspenseful mystery with chilling scenes and subtle scares, this movie is a good watch. If you’re looking for axe-wielding, chainsaw carrying serial killers, this is not for you.

 

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