Remaining spoiler free is imperative in an effective story that builds up into part exploitation of fear, part social commentary.
New to arrive in a remote town surrounded by woods in order to get away from the city and raise their teenage daughter, a same sex couple immediately begin to experience odd reactions to their union.
Malik (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) alongside his older partner Aaron (Ari Cohen) are happy whilst teen Kayla (Jennifer Laporte) is antisocial on the outside but still cares for her two dads.
The pair receive a housewarming gift but from the outset something is not quite right.
After a break-in and homophobic slur written across a wall, things begin to get a little weirder with each confrontation around the neighbourhood townsfolk.
In particular, Malik experiences dreamscapes and illusions, although harbouring an incident from his past while maintaining daily medication, makes us wonder is he just paranoid or are those supernatural figures actually reaching out.
It is around the 27-minute mark when something pointedly unusual becomes apparent through the lens of a polaroid camera gazing at a neighbour’s window.
Twenty-something Director Kurtis David-Harder, possesses flair for the unexpected. He also produced the equally unsettling, Harpoon (2019).
As the ‘friendly’ work at home neighbour, Lochlyn Munro (from one of the greatest movies of all time – A Night at the Roxbury) is sinister, young Laporte simply terrific;
Bowyer-Chapman constantly on edge, the standout.
Acting is solid characterisation at its best, details are mostly restrained until the pinnacle of their small-town terror is unleashed; creepy groups of people gathering in hooded cloaks is never a good thing.
Shane A.Bassett |★★★
Horror, Thriller | USA, 2019 | 15 | 17th September 2020 (UK) | Shudder Original | Dir.Kurtis David Harder | Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Ari Cohen, Jennifer Laporte, Chandra West, Lochlyn Munro,