This film has been getting some rave reviews and good word-of-mouth reaction. I can see why. But I had some problems with it.
The story is about a family reunion gone wrong when some mysterious intruders begin picking off family members off in bloody ways one by one. Home invasion it is, but with a nice twist in comparison to others in the sub-genre.
I loved the opening moments of the film. It was a serious ode to slasher flicks of the past and the tension was palpable. But as the story progresses, the mysterious, quiet killers lost some of the characteristics I want from my slashers: they are quiet, masked, and uncompromising. As we get to know who these killers are and why they are there, the effect of any creepiness was lost on me. It reminded me of the way I felt about SCREAM’s “Ghost face”. Not a scary slasher character in my eyes by any stretch of the imagination once you know who’s behind the mask. Anytime I feel like I could actually stand a chance in a fight to survive against one of these slashers, it’s a sign they are not scary whatsoever.
There was plenty of good action, gore and violence in this film. The use of old school slasher-type music, and sound effects were excellently well done, also. The characters involved were well written and performed admirably by the cast. The female lead who plays the character that surprises everyone by kicking some serious ass, did well to carry the action forward. The plot had some infuriating holes, and some stupidity was necessary by some of the characters in order for some of the set-pieces to work.
Despite some of my disappointments with the antagonists in this film, it was overall a fun experience, and one that we don’t have enough of on the big screen these days. I would have preferred more intimidating killers for this as some of the trailers and marketing might suggest, but all-in-all, the twist was satisfying and brought forward a kick-ass “final girl” that is unlike many others in the genre we’ve seen.