Directed by Adam Wingard
Starring Sharni Vinson, A.J. Bowen and Nicholas Tucci
A family gathering is interrupted by a trio of masked killers who systematically take out each member one by one as they make their way through the house. Only the most hardened of the family members have a chance of surviving the bloody onslaught.
The Davisons are having a family reunion at their townhouse, inviting all their children and their significant others. While the kids don’t all get along, it should be a fine night of wining and dining, if it weren’t for the maniacs outside who shoot a barrage of crossbow arrows into the dining room to start the mess.
Through direct attacks or booby traps, the family members get taken out by a small group of killers wearing animal masks. Eventually the family bands together to fight back, including the spunky girlfriend of one of the brothers, who sets some of her own booby traps like she was in Home Alone. Eventually we learn their true intentions may have to do with a secret one of the family members is hiding.
The first thing I have to mention is how brutal this film can be. Though there’s a shift from thriller to dark comedy approximately halfway through the film, the violence rarely shies away from showing you what’s happened. The film features everything from slit throats to head stabbings with various items to my favourite, the blender on the head scene. The film carries several “holy shit” moments as it relates to some of the kills and if you like blood you’ll be pleased as punch to see what’s shown on screen though it sure can be mean-spirited at times.
The story is fairly straight forward until it decides to throw in a few twists to explain why things are happening and you won’t get the full story until the very end as not everything is as it seems. The acting on the other hand is a very mixed bag. Some of the actors are quite good, some are terrible. It’s certainly not enough to sink the film, it’s just very noticeable at times how bland some actors are in certain scenes.
Overall the movie starts out as quite the tension-filled, blood-soaked thriller to suck you into the twists and turns of the story to unfold later on. You may even enjoy the dark sense of humour the filmmakers inserted later on to lighten the mood just a bit. If you can forgive some of the questionable acting later on in the film, you should enjoy watching what happens next.
Story: 7 – Not a mind bender by any means, it’s simple and the story twists make it all the more interesting in between the gory kills.
Blood: 8 – Blood is splattered literally all over the walls. Throats slit, arrow attacks, impalements, certainly more than the usual amount of skull stabbings. It’s a crazy movie.
Nudity: 4 – A few quick topless shots to really earn that R rating.
Overall: 8 – A tense, action-filled, gore-soaked thriller.
-Wrestling fans would notice one of the killers wears a lamb mask like Erick Rowan does on WWE programming. Another wears a Tiger Mask. Goldberg would often answer his own catch phrase “Who’s next?” with “You’re next.”
-The film’s budget was just $1 million and went on to make $25 million.
-Director Ti West (whose movie House of the Devil I reviewed earlier in the month) has a brief cameo as one of the boyfriends who sadly didn’t make it to the end.