House of Voices

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After the trauma Martyrs caused me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to explore another film by Pascal Laugier – but the appeal of a spooky ghost story starring Virginie Ledoyen was too damn strong to ignore.

Luckily, House of Voices is nowhere near as brutal. But there are a few scenes (one in particular, at the very end) that might be a little much for the faint of heart.

Anna (Ledoyen) arrives at the creepiest orphanage ever to help clean it for the new occupants. In the midst of trying to conceal her pregnancy – and mysterious scars on her back from her past life – she starts hearing and seeing strange things. And naturally these strange things take the shape of children.

St. Ange appears to have more than a few secrets as well, and some of them are locked in the mind of an eccentric, damaged young lady named Judith – an orphan who’s been at the orphanage for many years.

The real trouble starts when the inmates take over the asylum, as it were. Anna and Judith team up to find out what happened to the ghosty kids they keep seeing, instead of just leaving it alone like they should.

There’s not a whole lot of blood and gore in this one, but the phantoms are pretty impressive, and I dug the whole backstory that eventually emerged. It’s appropriately bleak (like a horror movie should be), and atmospherically, it’s one of the better ghost stories I’ve seen.

Recommended if you’re in the mood for low-key terror – with a bit more mystery than usual.

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