Sunday, 24 October 2021

Netflix And Chill: There's Someone Inside Your House (2021)

Perhaps still best known for the two Creep movies that many keep thinking of as Mark Duplass movies (maybe because of his input, or maybe it's just me), Patrick Brice has been building an enjoyably twisted filmography over the past decade or so. I still wouldn't have considered him as the first choice to direct this teen slasher movie, based on a novel by Stephanie Perkins, but he soon shows that he's more than up to the task.

Someone is killing the students of Osborne High, with the death scene relating to some secret that is then shared around with everyone else at the school. This probably wouldn't worry anyone who manages to live their life without any secrets, but almost everyone has a secret. Makani (Sydney Park) has a big secret, a reason she moved away from where she used to live, so she starts to worry when that will catch up with her. She also has a small group of close friends (Alex, Zach, Darby, and Rodrigo) that expands by one when they welcome bullied football player, Caleb, among them. And she has an attraction to the one boy who is the immediate prime suspect when the killings begin, Ollie (Théodore Pellerin).

Both the best and the worst thing about There’s Someone Inside Your House is the fact that it is a very straightforward, non-ironic, slasher movie. You don’t get a lot of winks and gags, which means the pure and serious approach actually feels more interesting and unique now, compared to the many slasher movies we have seen that need to be loaded with references to past glories.

Henry Hayden’s screenplay puts everything together well enough, despite not throwing around enough red herrings, and you have a good selection of characters who manage to stand out from the crowd without ever seeming invulnerable. Brice works well with what he’s given, setting up the deaths as the set-pieces they should be and building up a head of steam towards a third act where we get the expected “unmasking” and final battle. The killer isn’t ever all that menacing or convincing when all is finally revealed, but that is compensated for by the messages running throughout the rest of the film, and the gory kills.

Park is a decent lead, a young woman with a troubled past who could also be a suspect in a killing spree, and Pellerin is enjoyable as the misfit who probably isn’t the evil sociopath that everyone takes him for. Elsewhere, Ashjha Cooper, Dale Whibley, Jesse LaTourette, and Diego Josef are a good selection of actors playing the core group, and Burkely Duffield is easy to like as the footballer who ends up joining their group. There are other people here, all doing good work, but the focus stays on the main group of friends trying to act as if they don’t have any secrets while avoiding a killer who could prove otherwise.

Satisfyingly bloody, and enjoyably teen-oriented without feeling too inconsequential or silly, There’s Someone Inside Your House turns out to be one of the better slasher movies of the last few years. And it doesn’t end with an obvious attempt to stretch things out into a series (famous last words).


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