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The Scary House 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Daniel Prochaska
Writers: Marcel Kawentel (screenplay), Timo Lombeck (screenplay)
Stars: Leon Orlandianyi, Julia Koschitz, Marii Weichsler
With a title like that you don’t really expect much do you?
I could swear this was a children’s horror movie if not for the f-bombs but maybe they have a different connotation in the German language, I don’t know. Otherwise, it’s easy to imagine this as something that the disney channel might have shown, at least during the ’90s. There is a retro feel to this story of youths investigating the paranormal which is consolidated by the the synthesiser heavy sections of the score.
Although this is as scary as Sauerkraut, this film bizarrely carries a lot more charm than the horror movies markets toward teens in general and I would really not recommend this for adults who are snooty about horror (of which I count myself as one).
A lot of this will feel familiar: a family sans one of the parents arrive in a new location for the remaining parent’s work. The older kid is despondent the younger one isn’t but then starts acting spookily. They even gave him black sclera for when he’s possessed…
It’s remarkable how easily these three kids team up and commit themselves to opening up this cold case, basically because they have nothing better to do. Plot elements like a gang of bullies or the deceased father just go nowhere and you bet your life there is some romance just tacked on.
Yet, the whole thing is strangely watchable. Maybe because it is non-anglophone and one always wants to encourage those. Two other elements that really add color are 1) the delightful local color of this Austrian town near the Slovenian border (featuring the language too) and 2) Fritz. Played brilliantly by the young, Lars Bitterlich, he is one of those characters who feel a bit wasted on just a movie rather than a sitcom or something. The writers use him as a sort of cheat code because since he is *eccentric* he has every skill or resource the plot needs (including a way of playing some obsolete home media). He is likable though and by far the best character.
There is nothing shocking, original or really unexpected in this narrative of youthful investigation that sort of feels like the Hardy Boys but with a cute Teutonic girl.
But like I said: although it’s not exactly stunning nor clever, it manages to never be straight up dumb or goofy.