Review: "The Strange House"

If you take this quirky movie from Austria as a kind of throwback to the goofy but not entirely scary teen-led mysteries of the 1980s, you may just enjoy yourself. The Strange House mixes silly humor, some of it quite local and much of it based in the character of nerdy Fritz, with campy terror, complete with possessed kids and comically creepy neighbors. But if you don't know this going in, the set-up could throw you off and give you the erroneous sensation you're in an actual horror film.

What gives the movie its retro feeling? It could be the innocence of the teens (including a budding romance with one chaste kiss), their relative independence to roam around town (think Stranger Things), and their multi-age teamwork in cracking the case (those meddling kids!). Or maybe it's the stereotyped baddies and single-mom family (E.T.-like). It might also be the synthesizer music that creeps in repeatedly. The combination works if you're open to it; if you're looking for real scares, you should look elsewhere.

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.