I’m not going to lie: I done got Birdmanned* by this movie.
There’s a difference between allowing a genre’s DNA to trickle in, and straight up cribbing from better movies. The genre of gothic romance/horror is so lush, but the reveal was a huge disappointment. I had a half-dozen guesses about the plot, and all of them would have been much more interesting than where the story arc landed with a thud.
But then, it didn’t just crib from better movies…ever see 1995’s Haunted with Aidan Quinn? Terrible twist, and even worse when repackaged 20 years later by the guy who nailed it with Pan’s Labyrinth.
It was a beautiful and trippy movie, of course, and I will see it again with more tightly managed expectations.
* I’m trying to make this phrase catch on (much like using Gaslight as a verb). It describes the experience of looking forward to a movie for the better part of a year, only to be sorely disappointed by its lazy writing. And then prominent film critics gaslight you with undue amounts of praise for the film.