Spread it or ignore it?

DISCLAIMER: The title of the Netflix movie There is someone in your house describes only a scene or two. This is not a home invasion thriller, but rather a neoclassical slasher in which anxious teens – some of whom, in the neoclassical way, have sex with each other – try not to be the target. of a large knife brandished by a homicidal maniac. So it’s a bit of the ’80s and’ 90s, but certainly a product of the ’20s, a time when many attempts were made to revive the genre. Let’s see if it’s successful.

The essential: Cold opening: an addict in a college jacket returns home to an empty house. It’s the night of a big game and he takes a nap and wakes up to find the front door wide open and his missing truck. TITLE CARD: Do you think someone is inside their house? I bet someone is inside their house. He soon finds a breadcrumb trail of incriminating images leading to his parents’ dressing room. There is irrefutable photographic evidence there for all to see of him brutally hazing another football player, who happens to be gay. And that’s when a madman with a hoodie and a mask does some nasty things to the guy with a big ass dagger. Cut to: the football field, where Caleb (Burkely Duffield), the haze of the photos, rushes for a touchdown and looks up to see no one clapping, because everyone in this small Nebraska town has only got one. a video text of the now dead bully his face in it.

The incident leaves the entire student body at Osborne High, unless you’re one of the outcasts who laugh at toxic white men who play football and bully people who are different from them. These outcasts probably understand that the guy doesn’t deserve to die and are scared because a killer is on the loose at the same time as they are experiencing a sneering schadenfreude, because they are complicated people: Makani (Sydney Park) is the little one. new who recently moved from Hawaii. Darby (Jesse LaTourette) is the trans child. Zach (Dale Whibley) is the great rebel against the ruthlessly capitalist practices of his very wealthy father. And Alex (Asjha Cooper) and Rodrigo (Diego Josef), well, there just isn’t enough time in a 90 minute slasher movie to give them a rich inner life, but they seem likeable enough, and in plus, three kids didn’t group high school rejections do.

After the killer strikes again, the Buffy Scooby Breakfast Club Chopper Bunch Gang finds out they’re targeting students with secrets – which doesn’t bode well for Makani, as we are spending a reasonably significant amount of time with her, and learning. that she’s hiding something crappy from her past. Alex is convinced the killer is Ollie (Theodore Pellerin), the outcast outcast who gives him bad vibes – “Yeah, you all-black school shooter style icon,” she snips – but no one does. knows that he and Makani have secretly done a lot more than just kissing. No, that’s not his shit secret. But maybe what didn’t kill her made her strong enough not to be killed by the killer.


What movies will this remind you of? : There is someone in your house is largely the Scream/i know what you did last summer mold – which means it is also reminiscent of the (overrated) Fear street trilogy.

Performances to watch: Park anchors the film with a heartfelt, sympathetic performance that helps him avoid being an empty, blunt murder.

Memorable dialogue: Alex knows that she and her outcast comrades have to do what they have to do, even if they don’t want to: “Alright, let’s save this damn football team.” “

Gender and skin: The difference between 80s slasher sex and 20s slasher sex is that 20s slasher sex is a lot less free.

Our opinion : There is someone in your house mixes sarcastic satirical tones with political commentary and serious drama, and the result is uneven but reasonably enjoyable 96 minutes. The fact that a slasher movie almost makes us care about the welfare of its disposable characters – in this case, not quite disposable – the characters look like a little miracle. I mean, every last fool in Fear street could have been horribly brainless and my emometer would never have shaken.

Makani’s arc is far from deep, but seethes beneath the powerful idea that forgiveness is something we should embrace, that all humans have flaws and make mistakes, and maybe The killer’s actions are a metaphor for today’s ‘cancellation culture’, which offers no nuance, context, or deeper understanding for those whose mistakes are made public and result in the total or partial destruction of their life. (Eh – probably a stretch.) Or maybe it’s just fun watching a hooded menace dump a kid out of being the anonymous host of a grotesque white supremacist podcast. There is at least some modern societal contextual relevance to this film, which forgoes making cheeky, flashing cinematic references for smarter things – for example, a funny, crackling scene in which the trans character is told as her story of “inspiring” life will be the subject of everybody college application trials.

So the film actively tries to talk about things and is not a meta-celebration of itself and its genre – and therefore is new. At the same time, he adheres to many slasher tropes and leads to a boisterous conclusion in which the villain spends a lot of time talking when he should be killing, and isn’t that always the villain’s tragic and proud downfall? I shrug in the general sense of the ending, but the rest generates enough narrative pull to keep our interest. And for those of you who are here to kill, well, the murders are damn murderous, and even though they are not innovative – the knife meets the body; repeat – for people who want to kill, the movie is better than without kills at all.

Our call: Stream it. There is someone in your house is a better-than-average slasher, which sets it apart from the recent crop of Netflix horror releases. Consider our barely surpassed expectations.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work on johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

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