The official synopsis according to IMDB is “a solider introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence”.
I had only seen the trailer to this film just prior to watching it. It seemed like your typical thriller, and you think you know what is going to happen. The man/David/Dan Steven’s isn’t who he said he is, or is the killer of their son, and eventually the family get revenge on him somehow. That’s how you believe it will play out, what happens is totally in the other direction, as well as a different movie altogether.
The film is your typical run of the mill is he/isn’t he during the beginning of the movie. It isn’t until the first fight scene, that you really start to decide where you think it is going. As the death’s start to pile up you figure, Dan Steven’s character is doing this for a reason, maybe to make up for something in the past, but by the end, it has gone completely off the deep end, and isn’t really explained in that much detail apart from the occasional expositional line.
To me, the film changed from psychological thriller, to camp B-movie half way through the movie. Watching it with an audience, you could hear the laughs getting bigger and bigger. Whether this was the intention is besides the point. At some part of the film, the tone seems to change, and it just becomes a mix of hammy acting, bad dialogue and OTT story.
Now that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the film, its just that the switch is so sudden, and so out of leftfield, you kind of feel blind sided by it, and I still can’t make my mind up on the film.
Not only is the flow of the film weird, but the sound track is. There are moments where there is banging music, and then it is just smash cut into silence, or something completely different. Maybe they are trying to unsettle you with this, but it just makes it seem quite ameturish.
The acting ranges from decent to hammy at best, with Lance Reddick doing his best homage to 80’s action movies with hilarious facial expressions.
In closing, I really didn’t know what to rate this film. I usually love TV/Movies which go a little over the top, but when its done consistently, and with a little wink to the audience. But this felt like a decision that was made in post production, and the switch in genres just felt a little too much for me. BUT if you like Dan Steven’s and want to see him with his top off and in a towel, then go watch this movie
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5th September 2014 (UK), 21st August (FF2014)
Dan Stevens, Maika Munroe, Brenden Meyer, Lance Reddick