Hands down the cleverest, funnest, most original horror movie I have ever seen. How to review this without spoilers? Well…this is a movie about puppets, at least in the metaphorical sense. It’s about chess masters, pawns who learn they’re pawns, and monsters. Dear sweet nougat-filled Jesus the monsters.
You see, this is a self-aware horror film, kind of like Scream, only whereas Scream was self-referencing and yet still had a touch of realism, TCITW throws realism out the window and then bars it so reality can’t come back in.
It is also a movie of archetypes. Everything and everyone fits a certain mold, made literal at the end, and it really makes you want to re-watch classic Dead Teenager movies to spot the types and compare.
TCITW practically demands you watch it on video so you can stop and pause to see all the little details, and there’s a treasure trove of easter eggs.
And oh yes, you can see Joss’s fingerprints all over this thing. There are so many touches out of a Buffy episode you’d expect a sort of cameo from Sarah Michelle Gellar. And there is a cameo, but I wouldn’t dare tell here.
In short, this movie is a haunted house, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, a video game all in one. And I loved the hell out it.