Saturday, 17 September 2016


Starring Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang.

Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues. Directed by Fede Alvarez. Budget $9.9 million. 88 minutes long.

Three scumbag Detroit youths, Rocky (Jane Levy) her boyfriend, Money (Daniel Zovato) and love-sick friend, Alex (Dylan Minnette) get their kicks breaking into rich people's houses and stealing make the wrong choice by breaking into the house of a blind war vet (Stephen Lang) in search of a six-figure payout they've heard he hides in his house. The money, we discover, was paid to him as a settlement for the death of his daughter following a traffic accident caused by a rich man's daughter.

However, once the three utterly unlikeable yoofs are trapped inside the the house with their blind victim they find out he's far from the vulnerable disabled old man they were expecting but a  highly capable ex-marine hiding a secret in the basement so nasty it turns from him from victim to villain in the blink of an eye. Indeed once we've lost him as victim we lose the only likeable character in this film and are left to try and feel something for either the supposed heroine or her love-sick friend. Trouble is they're both deplorable and explaining that Rocky is only doing the robberies cos she's saving up to run away from her abusive mum and taking her little sister with her doesn't quite do it.

The film, a member of the survival horror film genre, focuses on the kids trying to escape the house or at least survive for the full 88 minutes. It ticks all the boxes including having the killer coming back from the dead, or at least managing to escape from seemingly impossible situations and popping up in the most unlikely of places when you least expect him. It's practically devoid of dialogue, which is impressive and survives on an edgy soundtrack of jarring, nerve jangling sounds and strings, and some good editing.

Can't say that horror films are still something I can enjoy. I used to go loads, particularly during the wonderful stalk and slash era of the 1980s but after a while they sort of lose their charm so I have to say I found this quite frustrating at times, although perhaps that's considered to be a good thing in this current day and age.

Either way, this was brief and silly and managed to ratchet up the tension while keeping the stupid jump shocks to a minimum, plus it has Stephen Lang as the villain and he's always worth the price of a ticket.


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