Artistically, I’d compare I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House to those modern art exhibits that feature a blank white canvas. I know it’s trying to say something, but without a few more clues, I could not begin to tell you what it is. The film is all mood, which I am not opposed to but perhaps a little underprepared for. Death looms in this house near Braintree, Massachusetts where a young hospice nurse comes to care for an author with what I can only assume is dementia. Her self-reflective voiceover nonchalantly states that she never makes it to her 29th year and goes on to talk about death lingering in a house until it rots. Uplifting stuff.
What the film lacks in storyline it makes up for in female representation. There are only three featured characters and they’re all female. There’s one man who seems to handle the business end of the author’s estate, but he doesn’t say much. We even learn that the author intends to leave her big house to a grant foundation to be used by other female authors as a workspace. Feminism! Arts funding! We can have it all!
The production side is a pretty big sausage fest (God, that’s gross… Can we come up with a new clever name for this?) but the cinematography was arguably the most impressive part of Pretty Thing and that position, my friends, was filled by Ms. Julie Kirkwood. Also, the writer and director is the guy who played the law school dork in Legally Blonde, so I feel like I trust him.
If you’re looking for a film that makes you feel unsettled like you fell asleep in the crack of a sofa bed, this’ll certainly do the trick. But, if you’re looking for a movie with answers, proceed with caution, because this one barely gives you the questions.