This movie has all the elements of a horror movie without being a horror movie. It’s got an eerie setting, (apparently) supernatural things happening, an unsettling score (probably the best part of the movie), and creepy children. But everything works completely independent of everything else. How best to explain. Ethan Hawke is the main character and he is completely engulfed in writing his true crime novel regarding a series of homicides committed between the 1960s and within the last few years. Until he dives in, nobody realizes these murders are connected. He moves in the house, amidst complaints from his children and wife and the local sheriff who’s read all his books and thinks he’s done more harm than good in telling each story in his prior books.
His son suffers from night terrors and does weird crap like fall asleep in boxes and pop out like an upside down jack-in-the-box. His daughter draws on the walls and says the little girl told her to do it. His wife complains. All this goes on and Hawke’s character just retreats into the world of the killer (who’s conveniently left reels of his crimes in the last murder house that were somehow never found).
I didn’t want an information dump, but something to connect everything so I didn’t feel like I’d just wasted an hour-and-a-half by movie’s end would have been good. I just had a general, unsatisfied feeling at the conclusion of this one despite some really good parts.