Director: Fede Alvarez
Writers: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Stars: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette
Plot: Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 88% Audience 77%
Why I Watched It: Besides it being a horror film this got huge buzz, every year there seems to be a horror film that both critics and fans love and for 2016 this was the film, I actually got this on iTunes cause I really wanted to see it.
Random Thoughts: The term suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe something surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment. I add this definition cause being a horror/genre fan you pretty much have to do this during every film and for me when I’m asked as a viewer to do it too much it takes me out of the movie. Like I said this film is well liked and I have to say I pretty much hated it and it comes down to this the film asked me to suspend my disbelief more than I was willing to do. Horror films are funny cause you can pick them to death or you can sit back and just enjoy the ride.
What I liked: The film is shot well and they use the one setting very well, they made the house not only scary but foreign. The idea of this film is very cool basically taking a Die Hard ripoff idea and turning it around the people breaking in are the ones in danger the one person is the threat. The film is tense and it does build nicely.
The core of this film is Stephen Lang, a genre pro and a guy who can pull off being a bad guy but he’s the one outnumbered and blind. He’s good here and he does even have that much dialogue he mostly speaks near the end of the film but he’s a presence and a physical actor. I also liked Dylan Minnette who I’ve now seen in three different films in the last couple of months, he’s a likeable actor and in this film he’s the only likeable actor. The sound in this film is good and for the most part tech wise this is a solid film, well directed and set up.
What I Didn’t Like: Man I have a ton of problems with this film, so many stupid things so many things that took me out of the film. None of this film holds up to any logic. The leads are people who rob houses the only one with a reason for doing this is Jane Levy and it’s because she’s trapped in movie cliched trailer park hell, the one character called Money, don’t even get me started he robs a house they all don’t wear gloves and he pisses on the floor, now they say if we don’t still over $10,000 dollars worth of stuff it’s not a major crime, so does this mean the police don’t even investigate it.Also Minnette’s father works for a home security company but why does he have everyone’s keys. None of this makes sense.
Here comes my major problems with the story, there’s some spoilers but I’ll try not to be too heavy handed. So Lang the blind guy they want to rob cause he got money from when his daughter was killed in a hit and run, oh and he’s an army vet, and yes he’s the bad guy. They go to his home and he has bars and all this stuff up but one window is left, this is the beginning of the lazy writing once they get into the house. The film turns into one big idiot plot fest. The break in, he doesn’t hear this he gets up actually walks by one of the them, he doesn’t sense anything but a little later he smells their shoes that they took off so they wouldn’t make noise, he smelled shoes. This stuff just took me out of the movie and started my head shaking, now the big things I couldn’t get past is later in the film Land becomes this unkillable, all knowing monster, he gets to places way faster than humanly possible he also has a demon dog, now not really but no way in Benji could a real dog do half of this crap, a dog who jumps into a vent and goes after someone, really?
Also they sent up that this man lives in an area all by himself, it’s a ghost town except for him, they make Detroit look like a rotten city from the future, they do this so of course cause they’re lazy. Now here comes the part where my jaw dropped, I’ll try to trend lightly here but we find out that Lang has a women in the basement, now he’s a blind guy, so he would have to have kidnapped her brought her home then trap her, and yes folks it gets worse cause after something happens he takes the Jane Levy character straps her up and then I kid you not grabs a turkey baster with his man seed and proceeds to tell her he’s going to impregnate her, just wrap your head around this, I mean if this was played like an over the top Roger Corman movie I would have went man that’s just screwed up but this is played straight, wow 87% Rotten Tomatoes. If it’s possible the big finale is even worse as they get out of the house and did I mention the film starts with this scene of them out of the house, so we know where it’s headed in the opening shot.
Final Thoughts: This was a huge disappointment, I was honestly Gobsmacked at how bad this was, now I get I’m in the minority and usually I’m very forgiving with horror films but maybe the hype made me except more but I found this to be a very dumb and lazy written horror film that was all style over substance.