(warning: contains spoilers)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Pro: extremely creepy, doesn't rely on cheap scares.
Con: paced quite slowly, characters don't evoke much empathy.
It was a bit hard to get into this movie for the first six minutes, due to the gargantuan credits that kept appearing over the film.
There is a lot of heavy foreshadowing that goes on in the opening dialogue, and there is a lot of dialogue. The first fifteen minutes of the film, in fact, seems to be little but introductory dialogue with a trio of characters that does not appear in the rest of the film.
The plot of this movie revolves around a dilapidated old house that renews and repairs itself whenever the new tenants get injured or harmed. The rejuvenation of the house is fairly subtle at first, a plant showing new growth, and a dead light bulb that suddenly works again, the cracked mirror that is now whole.
This movie seems to rely more on being creepy than on the gore and scare tactics of most horror films. The scene in the pool where the father snaps and suddenly starts trying to drown his son was one of the creepiest scenes I've seen in a horror movie. A customer review on Amazon.com from the book suggests that Stephen King took inspiration from this novel for The Shining. The pool scene and subsequent events involving the father make this connection quite clear.
As the movie progresses, the wife also begins to show signs of strain, and then it is not clear who is actually losing their mind and who is still sane. The husband sees visions of a creepy character from his mother's funeral, the wife appears to be becoming obsessed with the old house and the supposed elderly resident on the top floor who no one has seen.
It's never really explained why this ghost from the husband's past keeps appearing, but the wife's obsession is explained at the end, and makes a very creepy finale to a very creepy horror movie. If you like The Shining, The Skeleton Key, The Others, and movies like that, this one is right in that same vein and predates them all.