The film begins with the deep tones of a piano score and a family car driving on the road. We don’t get to go inside of the car, but we can hear a happy family sharing laughter and discussions until a tragic crash accident occurs off-screen. The tragic incident results in the loss of the life of one of the family members. After the loss of their twin son, Nathan, the family is now a family of three- Rachel (Teresa Palmer), her husband Anthony (Steven Cree), and their son Elliot (Tristen Ruggeri). The trio decide to start afresh by selling their home at a bargain price and moving to Finland.
The family move into a beautiful, old, large house by a lake and begins a new life in the countryside. But as the family gets comfortable and attempts to move forward with their lives, several strange occurrences begin. Some of these include Rachel hearing odd noises around the new house and she has haunting dreams surrounding her son’s funeral, which ends with Nathan screaming for help from his coffin. Their biggest challenge now is helping their son, Elliot, accept the loss of his twin brother. He requests a second bed in his room and sometimes pretends to play with this dead brother as if nothing ever happened. Elliot also begins to act strangely by drawing horrific pictures and behaving differently.
I truly adored the performance of the film’s lead, Teresa Palmer, who plays Rachel. She is highly convincing as a mother dealing with a tragic loss in her life and is determined to find out what is going on in her new home and with her son, who is acting disturbingly. The musical score from Panu Aaltio is sensational. Filled with strings, piano and more, the score here is rather fitting and delivers many powerful and uncomfortable scenes to life. The filming style of this feature is wonderful and pleasing to watch. Everything is stunning to watch, and it’s a true credit to the film’s director Taneli Mustonen.
As for the plot, well, that’s a hard topic to tackle. The film opens with a heartbreaking scene that is truly horrific to witness. There are various mysteries and questions surrounding Rachel, who is attempting to move on with her life. There’s a lot to unpack here, and while the film does reveal its secrets, I can’t say I enjoyed the direction it took, especially during the third act, even though it is quite surprising. A few details relating to the plot and a side character seem to be ignored and forgotten about, and certain outcomes are never explained.
Overall, this film packs in many pleasing horror ingredients, including the leading performance from Teresa Palmer, who is wonderful here and easily the biggest strength of this feature. The film’s musical score is impressive, and the same can be said about the style and visual look, along with its tones, thanks to the director Taneli Mustonen. While the film begins with many fun questionable mysteries and dramatic moments, the third act is surprising. Unfortunately, the plot details and side character outcomes are not well developed. The twists are bold and surprising, but I couldn’t help just wanting this film to end on a bigger note considering the fun and dark journey the viewers went on.