For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween, and a list of previously featured films, please go here.
To Let (2006)
This is perhaps the hardest of the series to write about. Juame Balagueró is a filmmaker whose work, form what I’ve seen (which is a handful of his titles), I usually like. He has a way of layering his tales, a disturbed sensibility (essential for horror) and usually paces his tales very well. This is not the film to watch if you want to see that statement exemplified, however.
As has been a pattern in posts about these films there had been much discussion of pace because when the running time is something outside the norm then the film needs to do something outside the norm to make it work. This does not. It is the shortest of the six films and feels like it’s the longest by far. There are both editorial and narrative reasons for that.
However, pace is not the only issue this film has. This film has a fairly outrageous premise, which in and of itself isn’t a problem, especially for a horror film. However, it’s one that’s fairly well telegraphed. Only the details are twists. There is in a film like this a “get outta there” element that has to be dealt with. And it is, but the turns it takes make it further and further insane, aside from the fact that they occasionally waste time in an already short yet long-seeming film.
For a tale such as this one to work the acting has to be spot on and it’s perhaps the least effective in the entire series, which contributes to the telegraphing that this woman plans to keep this couple as long as possible, whether they like it or not.
But wait there’s more, it’s also visually disturbing in the wrong way. There is excessive and artless jiggly-cam at the most inopportune moments.
I could go on to further enumerate the faults I find with the film but that would become tiresome. Needless to say this is one of those movies where even the more basic things like business (the actor’s actions) are poorly staged and executed. If you were to skip just one of the six films this would be it.