If you've seen The Strangers, then you might have in mind the same idea that I did when coming into this film.
However (and it's a big however), without giving away too much of the plot, I need to stress how less of a horror movie this really is because of how comical the scenes stretch themselves out to be. They aren't in-your-face comedic like Shaun of the Dead, for instance, but more of something along the lines of Evil Dead. You know--almost cheesy, that kind of deal.
Like I said, I don't want to give away all the goods, so I want to tiptoe around my words with this review. But the basics of the plot are that a family gathers to celebrate the parents' 35th wedding anniversary at a secluded house. It seems obvious in one of the opening scenes who the main characters are going to be, including one of the children's cheerful, charismatic, Australian girlfriend, Erin. We learn more about the other children and the parents, but very little, because this is one of those movies that doesn't really seem to care about who's who.
|Sharni Vinson as "Erin"|
A few elements of this film that were reasons why it stayed with me were: well, my favorite is a spoiler, so there's that, but the others have to do largely with the music score (which is just one song, really), the juxtaposition between comedy and horror/suspense, and the beautiful camerawork. There is one scene in particular that happens where a character knocks a light bulb out and it's actually quite spectacular.
I know this film has been out since 2011, and I also know that it hasn't necessarily received the best reviews from critics. But this film doesn't play off of numerous jump scares or shaky camera movements (thankfully) like the norm; instead, it's one of those movies where the pacing is crucial and you will have nothing to do but sit with your knees knocking from suspense. There is a lot of carnage, but I wouldn't call this a slasher flicker, exactly...
What I will say is that it's worth it to watch. It's fun and it's bloody and it includes a song from the '70s that you won't be able to get out of your head. Which may or may not be a good thing.