Friday, 11 July 2014

Stash House (2012)

Briana Evigan plays Amy Nash, a young woman surprised by her partner, David (Sean Faris), when he presents her with their dream home as a birthday present. Unfortunately, the previous owner used the house to store drugs. Of course, if they remained happily oblivious then the previous use for the house wouldn't matter. But they don't. Amy and David discover a whole heap of heroin, and then they discover that two men (played by John Huertas and Dolph Lundgren) are outside their home, eager to get in and get their hands on something very valuable. Amy and David discover that they can put the house on lock down, but that may not be enough to keep them safe from the determined intruders.

I went into Stash House expecting some dumb fun. Well, it certainly was dumb, but not in a good way. The script, by Gary Spinelli, is an expansion of Panic Room, essentially, but the execution of the material, by director Eduardo Rodriguez, leaves a lot to be desired. You may watch the movie and think different, but I'll be very surprised if everyone isn't rolling their eyes as much as I did by the time the movie gets to the final ten minutes, which takes any suspension of disbelief you may have had and then craps all over it.

Faris and Evigan are perfectly fine in the main roles, although it's amusing to note that the latter seems to make a habit of being in the wrong house at the wrong time. They don't have to do much beyond looking confused and afraid, and they manage that. Huertas is fun as a villian, despite being overshadowed by the mighty Lundgren. The action star is, however, poorly treated by a script/characterisation that falls flat while it thinks it is being entertaining and slightly quirky. And the less said about the unnecessary character played by Alysia Ochse the better. The actress isn't bad, it's just that her reasons for popping up are groan-inducingly obvious.

There are one or two good moment here and there, I won't deny that, but it's hard to enjoy them in between so many scenes that end up feeling pointless. What should be a lean, mean thriller ends up feeling saggy and stretched way beyond breaking point. And I really can't overstate the case for how awful the ending is. You've been warned.


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