Reviewed by Cliff Homewood
This is a review of the film reviewing process as much as the film. Who we are dictates what we like. An unemotional person likes an unemotional film etc. Your film preference in line with the sort of person you are. My parents don’t like swearing and lasted five minutes of Reservoir Dogs before ‘turning that rubbish off’. When writing reviews you become aware that whilst writing for people who can make an intuitive leap with you from one sentence to another, others may need more explaining. I have a butterfly brain as this review reveals. The only thing that will save you is to stop reading now.
So you’ve decided to continue. As I did with this film which received a lot of love, Empire gave it 4 stars and Stephen King loved it. It’s a home invasion horror movie, which were popular a little while back. Funny Games. Inside. This is SF so perhaps Signs, where aliens have the technology to master travelling across space but not breaking through a wooden door, I do love Signs! This film is reminiscent of the great scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind where she cowers in in her house as light breaks through the window and the aliens are outside. Or the similar scene in War of the Worlds, where they’re hidden behind rafters and rubble watching as the creature scans the house. E.T. has returned and he’s mad. The story this film resembles most will only be known by a few. A classic episode of The Twilight Zone called ‘The Invaders’ where an old woman defends her home against invaders which are small in scale. It had no dialogue and likewise this had little. Which was my issue with the film and my brain as discussed above. A friend saw it and found easy to follow. I did not. The Twilight Zone episode was easy, a simple story, they attack, she defends. This is a movie with twists and other things going on, what they were I could not tell a lot of the time. The beginning of the film felt fine, this will be explained later, and it was. But with later developments and plot twists you’ve got to be able to see and understand, interpret what’s happening. Should be easy right? I think it is for a lot of people, I think you need an Occam’s razor type brain, the simplest answer is probably the right one. I do not have that type of brain. I get praised sometimes for thinking outside the box, this means I have trouble thinking inside the box, where this film lives. I see something happen and think of multiple interpretations of what it could mean. Is it actually happening? Is it a hallucination or a metaphysical manifestation of what’s she’s thinking? Coupled with the fact that if people look similar without strong characterisation, one can get them confused.
I am left confuddled trying to work out the context of one scene and then it throws another at me. Other than enlightening, each twist confuses me more. I don’t know what’s going on. It made me feel thick even though I know big words. I just wished she talked, conveyed what’s going on. Films sometimes have an artifice of characters saying things out loud they wouldn’t in real life but this tells us what they are thinking. I miss that. And I told you I knew big words!