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A&E >  Entertainment

New movies to stream this week: ‘Monstrous,’ ‘A-ha: The Movie,’ ‘Our Father’ and ‘Private Property’

By Michael O’Sullivan Washington Post

Christina Ricci stars in “Monstrous,” a horror film that morphs from haunted house thriller to creature feature to something else entirely – and something far more interesting. As Ricci’s Laura arrives in rural California from Arizona with her son Cody (Santino Barnard), apparently fleeing an abusive ex-husband, the house seems to be haunted, albeit in a fairly conventional way.

There are flickering lights and other electrical disturbances, a dripping faucet, unexplained rips in the upholstery and Cody talking about the “pretty lady from the pond” only he can see. Set in the 1950s (at least by appearances), and filmed with the kind of cheesy creature effects that Laura watches on her black-and-white TV, “Monstrous” plays with cliche and distorted perception, doing a lot with a little.

It has a twist, as you might expect, and it’s not a bad one, turning something off-puttingly conventional into, well, a nicely resonant surprise. R. Available on demand. Contains terror, mature thematic elements and brief violence. 89 minutes.

The Norwegian synth-pop band best known for “Take on Me,” the mid-1980s hit that has lived on in the pop culture imagination well beyond its shelf life, is the subject of the documentary “A-ha: The Movie.” The film, according to the New York Times, “plays like a slavish yet intermittently lucid Wikipedia entry.” Unrated. Available on demand. 109 minutes.

The true-crime documentary “Our Father” follows the case of Donald Cline, an Indianapolis fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate his patients instead of the samples they had been promised, whether from anonymous donors or their husbands. Paste magazine describes the film as a “fraud captivating enough to fill a news segment, halfheartedly unfolded to the detriment of all parties involved.” TV-MA. Available on Netflix. 97 minutes.

A remake of a 1960 noir thriller, “Private Property” stars Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”) as a struggling actress whose marriage to a wealthy Hollywood producer (Jay Pharoah of “Saturday Night Live”) is threatened by her dangerous flirtation with a gardener (Shiloh Fernandez) and the arrival of an eccentric millionaire next door (Logan Miller). R. Available on demand. Contains violence, crude language and sexual references. 87 minutes.

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