This month for my blind spot series I finally watched the seminal french new wave film The 400 Blows. Directed by the great Francouis Truffaut I had long heard about this movie but had never seen it. Now that I have I can see why it is such a classic.
The 400 Blows is about a little boy named Antoine who is growing up in the 1950s Paris. His parents don’t care for him and at best placate and put up with him. His teacher at school is constantly scolding him and he is out of place in the world.
In many ways Antoine reminds me of Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, which was published in 1951. The 400 Blows came out in 1959. However, I prefer Antoine to Holden because his observations are mostly made through quiet staring at those around him where Holden’s dialogue becomes obnoxious.
Some people will hate the 400 Blows because not a ton happens in the story. It’s really about this character and how the world seems to not be made for him. No matter what he does the world seems to scold him.
The cinematography by Henri Decaë is gorgeous and 400 Blows is great to watch just on a technical level. Each shot gives you a piercing look at Antoine’s loneliness. Most of the shots are made beneath Antoine and look up to him again showcasing his isolation both mentally and physically. There are many other unique shots and perspectives Truffaut uses to create tone and tell the story.
We also see Antoine escaping (literally one time from a fire) to the movies, which for movie lovers has significance. It’s really the only positive thing in his life for most of the film.
There is definitely a feeling that Antoine never has been allowed to be a child. His parents are harsh including his Mother expecting him to hide her secrets from everyone. His teacher openly hates him and even with his friend they are basically adults not children.
Evidently Truffaut was commenting on the state of the juvenile treatment centers of the era, which is interesting because they are a footnote to the movie. But in a way it makes sense because the whole movie leads up to his placement there and how Antoine never really was given a fair shake. The movie does not manipulate the viewer with sentimentality or emotional sequences. It merely shows Antoine’s life and how the world has failed him.
In some ways I feel a little outside my skill-set to review a film like 400 Blows. The film-making techniques used are clearly masterful in ways only a cinematographer or technician could articulate, but I certainly can tell it is a beautiful and striking film. I recommend reading Roger Ebert’s ‘Great Movies’ review where he talks about Truffaut’s back story, the freeze frames and other camera work used in the film. http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-400-blows-1959
If you like Catcher in the Rye and those types of stories or love to watch beautiful camera-work I think you’ve got to see The 400 Blows. It’s a classic for a reason!
There are few films that leave me speechless- The Jerk is one of them. I honestly don’t know what to say. I can’t decide whether it is brilliant or horrible. It certainly succeeds in being a comedy like no other.
I guess you’d call The Jerk an absurdist comedy but it’s kind of making fun of the ‘down on his luck’ biographical narrative we often see in dramatic films. For example, some of the best laughs come at the beginning when Steve Martin’s Navin finds out he is adopted in his black sharecropping family. These scenes are very non-PC and the film goes for it and it made me laugh. Lines like this I thought were funny:
Taj: “You wanna, wanna come in and sing some blues?” Navin: “No thanks Taj. There’s something about those songs. They depress me.”
Navin ends up hearing ‘crazy rhythm’ on the radio and goes to St Louis to find where the song was broadcast from. He gets a job working for Jackie Mason’s Harry Hartounian and is thrilled when his name is in the phone book.
Unfortunately a crazy sniper picks his name randomly out of that book to shoot but Navin evades. All of this is bizarre and mostly made me laugh.
He then ends up meeting a tough carnie woman named Patty who teaches him about his “special purpose” and then meets Bernadette Peters’ Marie who is a sweet yet shallow woman. A lot of this humor involving the women was more awkward than funny but maybe that is just my more traditional values when it comes to humor.
A lot of this movie in fact was more awkward than funny. It kind of reminded me of the first Meet the Parents where I was laughing but also cringing the entire time. I can’t decide whether I like that kind of comedy or hate it.
In a way The Jerk had the feel of a silent movie but raunchier. He starts out wide eyed and gullible and ends up a world- weary hobo. Some of the jokes really work but a lot fell flat for me. I don’t know. It’s a hard one to judge. It’s one I can see myself liking the more I see it.
Anyway, I can’t really recommend The Jerk because it is so uneven but if it sounds like something you’d like than you’ll probably like it. If it doesn’t than you might hate it. It’s just a strange little movie.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Jane Austen fan. I reread all 6 of her novels every year and they never grow old to me. She has such witty dialogue, complex characters and builds tension better than any author I know. So, it was with some hesitation I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was being made into a movie. I had heard of the parody book but never read it because it seemed to be making fun of my beloved Austen. I worried the movie would do the same. In fact, I wasn’t going to see the movie but I decided a true Austen fan should give her review and so I took the bullet and went and saw it.
And to my surprise I had a pretty good time. I still wish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies didn’t have the zombies and was just a straight adaptation but for what it was I found it entertaining. In truth, it doesn’t mock Pride and Prejudice or Jane Austen but just has a new spin on the story.
The idea behind this version is that zombies came with the plague and the Bennett girls are not only looking for husbands but fierce warriors trained in China. It is all very silly but done with enough panache to be fun. Mr Darcy, Lady Catherine, Mr Bingley are all zombie warriors too. Mr Wickham has shady background and is working with the zombies and Mr Collins is still just plain old Mr Collins.
The cast is a lot of fun in this version. Lily James is wonderful as Lizzy. Again I wish she could have just been a regular Lizzy. I also LOVED Matt Smith as Mr Collins. He may be my favorite Mr Collins yet on screen. I thought Sam Riley was fine as Mr Darcy but nothing spectacular. He was better at the zombie killing than the Darcyisms.
My favorite scene is probably the proposal which has a fighting component that totally worked. Also the take on Lady Catherine played by Lena Headey was so much fun.
There are some problems with the direction of the film. A lot of the action is jerky and darkly shot and the zombies are rather inconsistent. Sometimes they can hold in their zombieness and other times they can’t. There are also one too many martial arts style fight sequences than they probably needed, but they all are done in a spirit of fun. I laughed a lot.
Overall, I went into this expecting to hate it but I had a good time. It’s silly but also creative and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think if you give it a shot you will enjoy it.
As far as content much of the violence is off screen with just the sound effects. What you do see is dark or in shadows. I’m pretty squeamish and I was ok with it.
Tonight I didn’t have much going on so I figured why not check out the special screening of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on the big screen. I knew almost nothing about this film except that it starred Humphrey Bogart and is a classic but I figured that’s good enough for me! (With the moviepass I could basically see it for free so why not?). I didn’t know what to expect and came out of it really impressed. I can see why it is a classic and in many ways it reminded me of the current Oscar favorite The Revenant, except it was clearly its superior in every way. I find it fascinating to compare the two.
Released in 1948 Treasure is written and directed by the great John Huston starring Humphrey Bogart (Dobbs) , Walter Huston (Howard) and Tim Holt (Curtin). They play 3 men who decide to prospect in Mexico for Gold in the 1920s.
They start out with the best of intentions- promising to be moral, upright and to not let the money go to their heads. Dobbs in many ways starts off the most confident in his own morality while Curtin is more morally consistent. Howard, on the other hand, is morally practical, even to the point of understanding why a man might kill him for the money. He says something like ‘I don’t think I’d do it, but I’d sure be tempted’.
What’s really brilliant is the morality of the film is set up with Dobbs and Curtin getting taken advantage of by a shifty businessman in Tampico before they go prospecting. This is somewhat of a prediction of the conflict to come.
The cinematography by 3 time academy award winner Ted D McCord is fantastic, using shadows to show the physical and moral challenges facing the men. Watching it makes me yearn for black and white movies again! I’d take it any day over the bleak, albeit impressive cinematography in The Revenant.
The three leads are so good with particularly Bogart’s Dobbs unwinding in such a believable way. It doesn’t happen over night. In fact, at one point he is rescued by Curtin and we think that may create some kind of obligation between the two men. Instead, Dobbs becomes more and more suspicious of Curtin’s motives and more guarded over his money.
There is a great scene where Curtin tries to stop a poisonous lizard from going in Dobbs hiding place for his ‘share of the goods’. Dobbs accuses Curtin of stealing from him and Curtin says ‘don’t believe me! Put your hand under the rock’. He’s challenging him to test his trustworthiness and see if the lizard will pounce on him. The sequence works brilliantly and tells you so much about both characters.
Howard, as the practical moral compass, never once gives a big speech but consistently warns them about the curse of the gold. It was impressive how Dobbs becomes dirtier and more disheveled as the greed overtakes him. In some ways his story arc kind of reminded me of Lord and Lady MacBeth as their lust for power, causes moral compromises that lead to mental instability. It’s like I could see Dobbs trying to wipe the blood from his hands!
The dialogue is so well done by Huston. It felt authentic to the characters and settings for the 3 leads the entire time. I never felt like someone was ‘acting’ or trying to win an Oscar. These were prospectors and I bought how they talked and the evolution of the characters. Each man spoke in a distinct way that fit who they were and who they become. It is also believable how Dobbs goes from begging for 2 pesos at the start of the film to a scene where 25,000 in gold is not enough.
Where the Revenant gets a lot of its character from the cold surroundings, Treasure of the Sierra Madre gets a similar effect from the heat. You can always feel the heat of the Mexico sun on the prospectors. It feels every bit as taxing as the scenes in Revenant, particularly towards the end.
One of the problems I had with The Revenant (which I don’t hate btw) was its bleakness and almost complete lack of humanity . It becomes kind of deadening by the end and something that should be shocking feels a little ‘meh’. There’s just a limit to how many times you can be stunned by an actor freezing to death. It becomes kind of lifeless film-making by the end.
Treasure in contrast has many moments of humanity, even humor, which makes the eventual moral crisis and madness all the more compelling. We care about these men because we’ve seen both their goodness and darkness.
The performances are also a lot more subtle and absorbing than in The Revenant. This is partly due to the script but also the acting is just that good.
The only flaws I saw in the film is the complete caricatures of the various Mexican groups. There’s the ‘Indian Mexicans’ who treat Howard as a medicine man after he saves a little boy and then the Bandits who are literally too stupid to recognize giant bags of gold. That seemed a little hard to believe.
The music also sometimes seemed a little too cute for the story but it wasn’t a big problem.
Small flaws aside, Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a must see for any movie fan. John Huston directed and wrote a true masterpiece and the acting is some of the best I’ve seen. It is an absorbing story with a compelling moral conflict that I think I will purchase on blu-ray. I particularly suggest if you have seen The Revenant watch this and see if you notice the similarities like I did. What do you like best?
Have you seen Treasure of the Sierra Madre? What did you think? I’m honestly kind of shocked with how much I liked this film. It was so well done.
It’s time for my third entry in the Hit Me with Your Best Shot film project done by Nathaniel over at the Film Experience
I’m really excited about this project because it is kind of like a book club- in that it is interesting to see what other people think about the same movie, all watching it at the same time. Plus, it introduces me to new films I might not have discovered on my own. I won’t be able to review every movie because of content (as last week’s Magic Mike selection demonstrated) but the one’s I can I’m very enthusiastic about.
This week’s choice is The Red Shoes which is a film made in 1948 by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (known as The Archers) . It is a movie I admit I had never heard of before but of course it is a classic (so many of those it’s hard to keep track of all of them). And it is fortunately a classic for a reason. It is a stunning movie about passion, work, love and dance.
Frequent readers to this blog will already know one of my favorite topics in film is work. Why we work? How we balance work? When have we over-worked? How do you know what work to do? What is passion and what is too much? What about the doldrums when we are miserable at work? I love comedies, dramas, even cartoons about work.
Well, in The Red Shoes you have a woman that has an unusual job- she is a prima ballerina. At the beginning I was a little bit confused about who all the characters were and what was going on. If this happens to you stick with it. It all gets explained. The ballerina in question is named Victoria ‘Vicky’ Page (Moira Shearer) and through an aunt of hers she is introduced to Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook). He is an eccentric strange man who’s obsession is having the greatest ballet company in all of France.
As the director he ends up giving Vicky a shot when his ballerina gets married and is fired (there is no option of a working woman in this film). Vicky’s first role is as the lead in a ballet called The Red Shoes based on the Hans Christen Andersen story. It is written by the conductor Julian Craster (Marius Goring) who is new to the ballet company like Vicky.
I don’t want to give too much away because I went into this movie completely fresh and I’m glad. Basically it is about Vicky’s battle between her love or personal life and her passion for dance or career. There is an extended ballet sequence which is a stunning surrealist masterpiece. I loved this shot from that dance. You can see both the home and the dance reaching out to Vicky.
There is also a great scene towards the end where Lermontov tells Vicky ‘you cannot live two lives’ and she must choose what she wants. (I have to admit I was a little bit let down by the ending but given it was 1948 it is kind of understandable). Even in modern times most working women will tell you ‘you can’t have it all’. Something is always sacrificed whether it is work, family or both.
But my favorite shot from The Red Shoes is from the ballet. One of the things I noticed is whenever Vicky is dancing she is always smiling. You can tell she is so happy and perhaps that is the best litmus test of all? Whatever makes you happy than try do as much of that as you can…It may not be your career but make it the thing you work for.
In a way watching her dance reminded me of the movie Ed Wood (I know strange comparison but hear me out). He is so happy making his terrible movies. The smile on his face never leaves.
So rarely is great passion matched with talent, so especially in Vicky’s case she should embrace what gives her that big smile. That’s why I picked this shot. I love the dancing, red shoes and the smile.
I just had a neat experience. Cinemark movie theaters have a Cinemark Classics series where about 3 times a month they show on the big screen a classic movie. I recently enjoyed It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and today I saw arguably my favorite movie (definitely in top 3) Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
It might surprise you that a good little Mormon girl from Utah loves a movie about a call girl and a male slut who get drunk and make terrible life choices. That’s the thing. I don’t need my characters in books and movies to make the same choices I would, or even be admirable. They just need to teach me something and Holly Golightly does that in spades.
I will put it out there that I think Holly Golightly is one of the most complex characters in movies. She’s a puzzle and every time I see the movie I learn something new about her.
I love characters that are contradictions and Holly is full of them from the moment we meet her. Of course her first scenes are in the iconic black dress and costume jewelry looking in the windows at Tiffany’s and eating a croissant. She looks like she could be off to the Oscars tiara and all.
Then the next scene is her letting Paul into her dumpy apartment with no furniture in an oversized shirt. Too top it off we learn she is going to visit a man in prison and gets $50 to go to the powder room from men.
She has strange philosophies on life like not naming her cat and fighting what she calls the mean reds:
“The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
And what does she do when she has the mean reds? Why go to Tiffany’s of course!
“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”
Isn’t that interesting? The woman who throws crazy parties and plans to marry for money twice in the movie likes Tiffany’s not for the diamonds because it is quiet and calming. See what I mean about a complex woman?
Holly is also the woman who can look like a star in minutes to go to a prison.
But is probably the most honest in a scene where she is simply strumming a guitar looking like she is ready to clean the house. Actually she is honest in both scenes. That’s what makes her so interesting. As OJ Berman says “she’s a phony but she’s a real phony” or in other words she’s like all of us.
We find out she has been running in her life. She ran from her child bride husband Doc (probably for the best but it isn’t as cut and dry as you’d think).
I love this scene when she tells Doc she’s a wild thing.
“You musn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky”
If we think about the end when Paul tells her about being a wild thing it is so perfect. To use Holly’s lingo she’s ‘just a scared little mouse” . In a way she has become used to fear, proud of it even if it gives her the mean reds from time to time.
“I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead”
Of course Audrey Hepburn is the star of the picture but George Peppard is lovely too as a man who has given up. He’s settled for a convenient love, living and life. It is such a contrast to Holly but both are equally lost. I think that is why she gives him a new name. It is the only way she who wears so many faces can relate to this person.
In a way it is an extremely hopeful picture as all love stories really should be. That no matter how screwed up we are (and aren’t we all) there is someone out there who will love us for it. That is why I love the ending so much.
Holly tells Paul “I’m not going to let anyone put me in a cage.
Paul: I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.
Holly: It’s the same thing.
Paul: No it’s not.
Then she throws out the cat and he gets up to leave. And this is my favorite speech in all of movies.
“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.”
You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing,” and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”
Both of these characters have been lost but in different ways and he is absolutely right ‘no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself”. That’s why it is so important we find people who love us and who will help us get out of those cages. Help us deal with the mean reds and the often strange choices we make. People who will love us no matter what.
That’s the hope of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That all humans can be redeemed from our various transgressions through love. It’s kind of like in Les Mis when they say ‘to love another person is to see the face of God”.
Anyway, I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I love Holly. She’s so much fun and yet fascinating at the same time. The only part of the movie I don’t like is the embarrassing racist performance of Mickey Rooney as a Japanese photographer who lives upstairs from Holly. I so wish that character didn’t exist. It’s just awful for a white man to be playing a person of another race and the makeup, voice, and teeth make it even worse if that is possible.
But I try to ignore that part because the rest in my eyes is perfect. It is also one of the few adaptations that actually improves upon the original source material which despite being written by Truman Capote isn’t nearly as nuanced and tough to pin down as the script by George Axelrod.
The great Blake Edwards deserves a lot of credit for his direction which is so appealing and then garish when it has to be.
Finally the music by Henry Mancini is perfect. I love they didn’t dub Audrey. It helps add a vulnerability a more polished singing performance wouldn’t have had. I could listen to Moon River all day and sang it for voice lesson recital a while back.
It’s such a beautiful song because it captures the contradictions in the movie. It’s a dream maker and heart breaker at the same time. And then it ends just as the movie ends with hope for our heroes.
“Two drifters off to see the world. There’s such a lot of world to see. We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend”
Before beginning this project I asked around social media and my friends what their favorite version of Christmas Carol is. Some mentioned Muppets, Scrooged or other alternative versions but as far as traditional tellings Alistair Sim’s 1951 version came up the most. It is without a doubt the most critically lauded and with good cause. I would certainly rank it in my top 5.
Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge
Kathleen Harrison as Mrs. Dilber
Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit
Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. Cratchit
Michael Hordern as Jacob Marley/Marley’s Ghost
George Cole as Young Ebenezer Scrooge
John Charlesworth as Peter Cratchit
Michael Dolan as The Ghost of Christmas Past
Francis de Wolff as The Ghost of Christmas Present
C. Konarski as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Rona Anderson as Alice (Belle)
Carol Marsh as Fan
Brian Worth as Fred
Miles Malleson as Old Joe
Ernest Thesiger as the Undertaker
Glyn Dearman as Tiny Tim
Roddy Hughes as Fezziwig
Hattie Jacques as Mrs. Fezziwig
Louise Hampton as Laundress
Peter Bull as First Businessman, Narrator
Eliot Makeham as Mr. Snedrig
Hugh Dempster as Mr. Groper
Richard Pearson as Mr. Tupper
Jack Warner as Mr. Jorkin
Before beginning the review I wanted to speak out against the colorized version I saw at my local library. Those colorized versions of classic black and white films are an absolute atrocity. It looks terrible, like a pastel crayon was put to the film and ruin the gorgeous lighting and shadows we only get with black and white. I’d rather you not watch the movie at all than watch a colorized version.
Scrooge- As I said Alistair Sim is Scrooge in this version. He was a comedic British actor and evidently at the time Dickens films were all the rage. Leonard Maltin does a fascinating introduction to the version I watched where he said David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Old Curiosity Shop and more had all been done and are considered masterpieces. I will definitely be looking up those films because the shots looked gorgeous.
A comedic, yet still serious, actor like Sim is perfect for Scrooge because it creates a subtle performance that is hard to get when it is just anger, no wit behind the barbs and attacks. He is excellent at resisting yet being moved by the visits all the way till Future. He feels he is too old to change and should just be done away with rather than try. That felt like a very human response.
Now we have to remember that the original text is a novella and so when taken to the big screen it is going to need some fleshing out in certain sections. Each version adds to it in different ways and so far I haven’t seen a version that felt outrageous or so off keeping with the story that it angered me.
In this version we spend a lot of time with Past played by Michael Dolan. We see Fan who is older than Scrooge in this version. Scrooge’s Mother died in childbirth, which is why his father hates the sight of him. There is a moment when Scrooge realizes he has done this same thing to Fan’s son and it is devastating. We see Fan rescue Scrooge and then on her deathbed Scrooge storms out before he can hear her pleading with him to watch over her boy. Again, another devastating moment very well portrayed by Sim.
We also get the Fezziwig’s and the girlfriend this time named Alice. Some do not care for a man named Mr Jorkin played by Jack Warner. He woes Scrooge away from Fezziwig and then embezzles money from the company, only to have Scrooge and Marley rescue the business and claim 51% of ownership as a result making ‘Scrooge and Marley.
The reason I do not have a problem with this is because the book does not tell you how Scrooge went from Fezziwig to losing Belle and being consumed with money. We just know a new love has captured his heart and that he ‘fears the world too much’. Something had to happen to have made him fearful.
He was a businessman so it is natural to assume he did business with all kinds of unsavory characters, especially the further down the line he got. In fact, he compromises his judgement working with Jorkin once and as is often the case once leads to another, to another. He alone is still responsible for becoming the man he becomes. There are after all other men including Fezziwig who chose to not take the Jorkin bait.
So no that doesn’t bother me. In fact, I found it an interesting take on the story. Like I said something has to have happened to have made him grow cold to the world.
The rest of the tale is pretty standard. They do make a bigger deal of Mrs Dilber who is his charmwoman (servant). She is one of the women who sells his things in the pawn shop scene and was played by a well known actress Kathleen Harrison who is very funny in the crazy scrooge segments (and so is Sim).
Strengths- All the acting is wonderful . Sim is great. I love Mervyn Johns as Bob Cratchit, and Michael Hordem is my favorite Marley. The scene of Marley’s ghost is so well done. The music by Richard Addinsell is perfectly paced to build momentum towards our reveal. The special effects of the era still look good and I love the way Marley looks tired and worn down. It’s like every word is an effort.
This version also remembers the Christian element to the novella. To Dickens, Scrooge just hasn’t ignored a pleasant holiday but he has ignored Jesus Christ and His gift. At least to me, the book is so clear that Tiny Tim remembers who died on the cross and his foil Scrooge does not.
Present tells Scrooge “‘the child born in bethlehem. He does not live in men’s heart one day a year but in all the days . You have chosen not to seek him in your heart; therefore, you shall come with me and seek him in the hearts of men of goodwill”. That’s a message so often forgotten in most versions.
Because of the religious themes there is a real sense of repentance not just remorse at the end. As a Christian I find the ending very moving and definitely puts this version at the top of my watch list every season.
The cinematography is uniformly strong with gorgeous shadows ,lighting and atmosphere. They never go for the easy angle or uninteresting shot. It reminds me of watching a Hitchcock film, that rich in cinematography and direction. The acting is great all around and like I said the music is one of the best with carols coming at just the right moments (to emphasize the religious themes of repentance and atonement of Christ using carols).
Weaknesses- There aren’t that many. But if I had to nitpick the past section maybe goes on a bit too long but it’s only an 86 minute movie so not really. The Cratchit’s are great. Tiny Tim is great. The scene with Alice as an adult at the poorhouse is very moving.
I guess it is not the most kid friendly version with a lot of dialogue and definite scares but I don’t see that as a weakness because there are so many that are kid friendly (as my recent entries have shown!)
All in all a definite holiday classic that is a favorite of most film lovers and casual holiday moviewatchers alike and for good reason.