The originality of the recent horror offerings from Netflix is questionable, that is, these films often stand on the shoulders of their genre predecessors. The Fear Street series nods so often Scream, Friday the 13th, and The witch that it has not been possible to develop its own identity. Nobody comes out alive noticeably overlaps with His house regarding the reinterpretation of a haunted house as a source of social terror and tension. And the latest version of the streaming service, There is someone in your houseSimilarly, it owes it to films such as Black Christmas, haze, and I know what you did last summer, to which reference is expressly made. There’s a creepy imagination in There is someone in your house, but that one really creepy detail can’t detract from the general familiarity. There is someone in your house is effective at times, but ultimately unobtrusive, and disappointingly feels like a product of its time.
When adapting the 2017 novel by Stephanie Perkins, director Patrick Brice and screenwriter Henry Gayden rely too often on simple dynamics that create a flat world structure. Neither the place nor the characters have little depth here. The small town consists of a school, a police station, a church and corn fields – obviously the audience should understand that it should be depressing. The outcast protagonists are ethnically, biologically and sexually diverse – it is clear that the audience should empathize with their otherness. The tyrants are all mini-neo-Nazis, whose dialogues abuse “fake news”, advocate an alliance with white power and regurgitate toxic masculinity. The intended point: your parents likely all voted for Donald Trump.
These components all feel superficial, like Brice and Gayden checking boxes off a list they think Gen Z teenagers will respond to. This superficiality means that There is someone in your house has something unique to offer in the slasher department to stand out and the results are inconsistent there too. In an unnerving touch, the killer wears a 3D printed copy of his newest victim’s face. This choice of costume underscores the killer’s ideology that each of the victims deserves to be killed for their hypocrisy. But these slasher sequences lack the drive energy and the exaggerated grotesque that you need to jerk There is someone in your house to live. There are eruptions of blood from cut tendons, torso, and throats, but the artificiality of this candy red blood extends to the entire made-up film.
There is someone in your house takes place in rural Osborne, an island community that is shocked by the murder of soccer player Jackson Pace (Markian Tarasiuk) in the opening scene of the film. The photos scattered around Jackson’s body and texted to everyone in town reveal an ugly secret: He once beat up his teammate Caleb Greeley (Burkely Duffield) in a ritual that went too far. Some people point their finger at Caleb about Jackson’s death, while others, like the one Jackson molested and abused for years, feel grim satisfaction.
Outside of these reactions is the new town of Makani Young (Sydney Park), who left their parents in Hawaii to live with their grandmother in Osborne. She didn’t know Jackson very well, but she sees how his death doesn’t upset her friends: the outspoken Alex (Asjha Cooper), the sensitive Rodrigo (Diego Josef), the space-obsessed Darby (Jesse LaTourette) and the irresponsible Zach ( Dale Whibley.). ). They don’t care that Jackson is dead (“Fuck those reactive people!” Darby says of their former bully), but they are curious who might have done it. And they quickly point a finger at their classmate Ollie Larsson (Théodore Pellerin), whom they refer to as the “all-in-black style icon of the school shooter”, and casually refer to them as sociopaths.
Nobody seems to notice the wistful looks Makani and Ollie are giving each other because Makani’s friends are too busy with what teenagers do in all of the horror films. They meet, they celebrate, they miss the murderer in their midst and then they die. So it goes in There is someone in your house, as always.
On the good side are Park and Pellerin, who, as Makani and Ollie, give the most naturalistic performances in the film. A secret kissing session in a parked car has more thrills than any of the movie’s murderous sequences, which target the doomed JD and Veronica von, because of the conflicting chemistry of Park and Pellerin Heather. William Arnold’s production design is less successful, especially the prevalence of insidious photographs at each crime scene. The film moves so fast through those hundreds of printed images of bloody faces and burned hands that it lacks any impact. (At least the killer uses his printer!)
But the staging of these scenes shows more care than the film’s attempted criticism of white privilege, which leads to an argument so steeped in serious statements that it forgets that horror can be a bit of fun. Plus, there’s not just one, but two subplots here that went wrong, which begs the question: why not just add a third and call it a trend?
“I’ve seen a lot of true crimes,” sniffed student council president Katie Koons (Sarah Dugdale) as the murders begin, and that statement goes for There is someone in your house on a larger scale. This is a movie made by people who are aware of the tropics of the genre but don’t know how to give them a unique twist. The result is that the film never surpasses the level of the “set in the background during Halloween decorations” film. When is the next big slasher movie coming? When will anyone dare to be as inventive or cruel as this genre requires? There is someone in your house will keep people waiting.
There is someone in your house will be streamed on Netflix starting October 6, 2021.