Reviewed by Chris Eberle
Laura Peterson opens her front door to find a mysterious stranger on the doorstep. He claims to be David Collins, the best friend of her son Caleb who died in the war. She has no reason to doubt him since he’s in a picture of their combat squad. David is invited to stay the night but by morning, the Petersons have asked him to stay longer. Daughter Anna and son Luke are not convinced however.
David quickly earns their trust by swiftly dispatching the bullies that are harassing Luke at school. When David goes to a party with Anna, he quickly falls into bed with her best friend Kristen. All seems well until a few local criminals die mysteriously and Anna’s boyfriend is framed for murder. The situation quickly escalates and Luke is forced to make a difficult choice.
- 2014, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 41 mins
- 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
- Starring: Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelley, Maika Monroe
- Directed by Adam Wingard
- Violence: Yes
- Sex: Yes
- Language: Moderate
This movie was entertaining but it’s so derivative of many other films; I can see why its distribution was so small. I expect it will earn far more money in video sales than it did at the box office. That being said, I really enjoyed Dan Stevens (Matthew from Downton Abbey) in the role of David. He is instantly recognizable but his voice and accent is so far from the Queen’s English that he becomes a different actor entirely. I hope he will be seen in better films because he is a real talent.
Overall the movie takes on an eighties horror/thriller feel; even down to the final sequence which takes place over a synthesized soundtrack that really brought me back to my youth. Even the film grain, lighting and other effects are vintage. If I didn’t know better I’d have thought the movie was made in 1987. It’s certainly worth a rental if you like thrillers with a little horror thrown in.
The film is shot in mostly natural color throughout but I found the image a bit murky. There were a few instances of black crush and grain is present at all times. Detail is covered over by the texture which I believe is intentional. It’s not my favorite presentation method but it looks to me like the director was going after a vintage feel; and he accomplished it.
Audio is equally murky especially during louder scenes (like the party for example) where it’s hard to understand the dialog. The best part are the sound effects which make great use of the surrounds and subwoofer. The sub factors into the music too with plenty of thump and slam.
Bonus features include deleted scenes, an interview with Dan Stevens and audio commentary with the principal writer and director.