directed by Christian Hallman
by Walter Chaw Swede Christian Hallman's first feature, Sensoria, sports a couple of nice, creepy moments but ultimately adds little to the "we have always been here" subgenre of haunted-house movies. In this iteration, Caroline (Lanna Ohlsson), freshly single and lamenting that her circle of friends consists largely of digital phantoms offering ephemeral support through social media, discovers that her new bachelorette pad is maybe haunted by the ghost of a little dead girl, My (Norah Anderson). Not helping her isolation and increasing paranoia are a pervy landlord and a dotty old lady of the kind that Ruth Gordon would have played once upon a time. Sensoria touches base with films as diverse as Don't Look Now and Dark Water (especially the Walter Salles version--the superior one, in my unpopular view), finding some traction in Caroline's frequent trips to the attic and basement but losing it in plotting so familiar that the only audience for the film has already lapped it a couple of times once it's ready for its revelations. Though Ohlsson is fantastic in a role that demands her centre-screen for the majority of it, Caroline feels curiously underwritten. I never really grokked her loneliness; and then I never felt anything like the maternal warmth that would make sense of the picture's "be careful what you ask for" ending. At the end of the day, it's a fine debut for a director who demonstrates a nice touch with certain closed-room scenarios, yet seems lost when presented with a feature's length worth of space and its attendant requirements.