I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House isnā€™t just a declarative sentence out of the hypothetical childrenā€˜s book More Hauntings With Dick And Jane. Itā€™s also the second feature film by up-and-coming horror director Osgood (a.k.a. Oz) Perkins, which will receive a wide release before Perkinsā€™ debut feature, February (a.k.a. The Blackcoatā€™s Daughter). A24 bought U.S. distribution rights to The Blackcoatā€™s Daughter shortly after its debut at TIFF in 2015, but keeps pushing back its release date.

Things are a lot less complicated for Pretty Thing, which hits Netflix this Friday. The streaming service released a trailer for the film earlier today, promising a chilly, cryptic, almost abstract tale on an old-fashioned ghost story. Ruth Wilson stars as Lily, an uptight spinster type who takes a job as a housekeeper/nurse for retired thriller author Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss). Senile Iris insists on calling Lily ā€œPolly,ā€ which turns out to be the name of the heroine from Irisā€™ most popular novel; Lily suspects that thereā€™s much more to it than that, though, and that Polly herself might still be living, unseen, in the house with them.


The A.V. Clubā€™s A.A. Dowd saw Pretty Thing at this yearā€™s TIFF, where he said it ā€œenvelops the audience immediately in its carefully calibrated unease, achieved through a variety of unique methods.ā€ He did have reservations about the filmā€”namely ā€œa slow burn that burns too slowly, the movie establishes its mesmerizing mood and then just sits on it for 90 minutesā€ā€”but adds, ā€œPerkins has developed a style so controlledā€”and so entirely out of step with contemporary horror fadsā€”that I canā€™t help but doubt my reservations.ā€ Heā€™s since revisited the film, as promised; you can read a full review later this week.

I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House debuts exclusively on Netflix on October 29.