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Yep, yet another dark and mysterious period piece featuring both thriller and horror elements, without ever truly becoming either a thriller or horror movie. Wish I could say it is more just another average attempt, that's decent to watch but far from anything too memorable.

It's the sort of the movie that's relies heavily on its style and tone but not necessarily on its story as well. It results in a pretty good movie to look at, but one that's never being engaging as well. The drama and mystery is not interesting enough to carry the movie and keep you interested in it. The fact that it's a slow paced movie isn't necessarily the problem with it but the fact that it's mostly being atmosphere and all buildup, is.

The problem with this sort of approach is that the payoff rarely lives up to its buildup. Unfortunately that's being the case for this movie as well. It's fine for a movie to be as mysterious as possible, as long as it some times gives you some information about anything. Else it's just being mysterious for the sake of it, without really having any good and surprising writing in it. I feel that that's being a bit too much the case for this movie as well. It starts off with a good and interesting enough premise but it too often loses its focus and features far too many needless distractions in it. At times the movie is about a whole bunch of different stuff, except its main story. It looses its main focus very easily, which means that the viewers will do the same.

It also seems indecisive on what it wants to be. Is it trying to be psychological thriller? A full blown horror movie? A period drama? It has elements of all these things in it, without ever turning into one thing. It's therefore hard to categorize this movie, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it in this case makes things rather messy and unbalanced at times. Twists and surprises also don't always work out too well because of this and it makes the movie as a whole a somewhat unremarkable and forgettable one.

But really, it's not like I hate this movie. It's just that it's doing an awful lot 'wrong', which prevent this from ever turning into a very effective or remotely great one. It's good, it's decent, it's watchable but that's not much of a compliment really and I doubt that this was what the movie was aiming for.

There is denying that this is a pretty beautiful looking movie, that's otherwise well made as well. It's not flawed with its cinematography, costumes, set design and acting. It's still mostly the atmosphere and acting in the movie that makes- and keeps this movie a perfectly fine one to watch.

It's a pretty well cast movie, with some fine actors in it. Emilia Clarke is a great leading lady who manages to carry the movie on her own, for most part. She deserves more leading roles but she also deserves better movies. So far she just isn't very lucky with her movie picks but I'm hopeful that one day she'll have her definitive breakthrough on the big screen, rather than just TV. Who knows, maybe the Han Solo movie which she has scored a role in will bring her that much deserved luck and fame, that the Terminator sequel "Terminator Genisys" failed to bring.

Good enough to watch but you're not going to remember this movie in a couple of weeks from now.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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