What is up with distasteful and offensive creative choices in horror films? Though this movie will never come close to what I experienced with Mother!, it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn’t help that the particular scene I am talking about was at the very end. It was the last thing I saw before stopping the film. I will avoid spoilers, but if you plan to watch this film, be aware that the end will most likely turn you off immediately.
Half way through the movie, I honestly thought I would be giving this film a decent review. To be fair, 2/3 of the film was decent, but that 3rd act ruined the entire film for me. Ridiculous doesn’t even describe what I experienced. There were parts where I had to laugh. It’s seems like they hired the wrong writer for a horror film because the best parts seemed like your standard family film. In fact, it felt as if I watched two films instead of one. The first and second act played out like a decent family film with a few flat horror plotlines seeping through while the third act was just a jumbled mess of what I assume is supposed to be horror. There wasn’t even a sense of danger until the last 20 minutes!
Not all was bad though. Like I said before, I actually enjoyed the first and second act. The acting was good, and it was nice seeing Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz’ characters communicating as parents even if their choices as parents were slightly concerning. For example, it seemed like they were always too busy to watch their children!! Jeté Laurence’s Ellie seemed to wander off way too many times. I know how it is to try keeping watch on children. Sometimes, they wander off without you realizing it. With this film, it just seemed to happen so many times. That’s just a nitpicky complaint though. There are many other complaints that I think deserve a mention.
One complaint that bothered me beyond anything else besides the ending was how unlikable the protagonist was. I couldn’t stand Clarke’s Louis. I believe the bad script was the main factor in this. I haven’t seen any of Jeff Buhler’s work besides this film, but that script definitely needed to be worked on some more. I’ll assume that Buhler is to blame since I already have many other issues with the script and Clarke seems to be a decent actor. In fact, the acting was pretty good. No one stuck out as a bad actor to me besides a few side roles. My favorite performances were definitely John Lithgow as Jud and Amy Seimetz as Rachel. Amy’s face acting definitely made an impression on me. I also think it’s worth mentioning that Jeté Laurence has AMAZING range for a child actor.
Since we have briefly touched on the bad script and good acting, I think it’s important to also touch on the directing which was decent. There weren’t any scenes that I thought were groundbreaking, but I didn’t have any major issues with the directing. Although, the green screen was so obvious when Clarke and Lithgow’s characters were in the woods. The directors, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, could have pointed out the bad green screen and fixed it! Again, that’s a nitpicky complaint on my part, but they could’ve made it look better.
I wouldn’t call this film terrible, but I definitely wouldn’t call it good or even decent. It was a horror film that was at it’s best without the horror. It was a film that ended the worst way possible. It was a film that was handled by people that didn’t know how to make another Stephen King film as good as IT or The Shining. I’ll give this film a…
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I’m just a dood tryna figure myself out. I write about shows, movies, the LGBTQ+ community, Pop Culture, and my original fiction work!!