Directed by Fede Álvarez
Written by Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues
Starring: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, and Stephen Lang
IMDb 7.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes 88% Metacritic 71/100
In following with the great horror formula of stupid teenagers being a necessary evil, this film is no exception. Here we have three dumb delinquents who somehow get the genius idea to rob a retired US Special Forces Gulf War veteran. (Okay, right there, is there anybody out there that DOESN’T think that is at the top of the list titled “People NOT to Rob”?) It is said that the old man is rich due to the receipt of a large settlement after his daughter got killed. They also know he is blind as a result of injuries sustained during the war so, they think this guy is the perfect target.
WRONG. Let’s skip over the fact that he’s blind for a second. These Special Forces guys are hard core. They are trained to withstand and dish out more than these teens ever even thought of imagining. These are the kind of guys that can kill in an instant woken out of their sleep without a moment’s notice of threat and without making a sound. And these three dorks think this is an easy victim. Then, let’s not forget that when a human loses one of their senses, the other four senses become extremely heightened. So this blind man can hear things better than a dog can when it’s silent. The man could probably hear a mouse fart for crying out loud. And again, these morons think “hey, let’s go rob the man who is a trained defender with heightened senses”. I mean, just writing it sounds so stupid to me. Nonetheless, that’s their plan.
Once they get into the house they quickly realize that they are up against exactly what I described and not some weak, frail, decrepit old man. While they try to find the million dollars that is supposed to be in the house, one by one they have to run, hide and fight off their victim, who has now become the predator and they are the prey. And there’s a certain depravity to the old man that is sure to creep anyone out. Anyone normal, that is.
Now, there are a few good things I will say about this movie. First of all, the war vet is a beast. I would never want to run into this man in a dark alley. Also, the fact that everyone is so on edge and has to stay silent throughout their time in the house makes it very intense. It’s also a very suspenseful flick. It’s only an 1h28m long. Honestly, any longer than that and it would have been way too much, too boring, too drawn out.
Still, I thought it was good. I can’t say I thought it was as good as the critics did but, as you all know, we are often in disagreement on what is good or bad. This wouldn’t be a movie I would put at the top of my recommendation list but, if you haven’t seen it, you might as well.