6th Movie “He’s Out There” Review by The Headless Critic
He’s Out There – 2017
Production by: Screen Gems, Unbroken Pictures
Distribution by: Vertical Entertainment
At a remote vacation lake house, Laura (Yvonne Strahovski) with her two children Kayla (Anna Pniowsky) and Maddie (Abigail Pniowsky) await her husband Shawn (Justin Bruening) to arrive. Someone else has been waiting for them. Stalked from outside their cabin home, “Terror is lurking”. A Masked Man (Ryan McDonald) has set a killer trap and now this mother and her two young daughters must enter the nightmare conceived by a psychopath.
A psychological Saw without the gore? A first time feature film writer Mike Scannell and first time director Quinn Lasher create a horror film that’s kind of a slasher without the body count and a little bit of everything else thrown in even if it doesn’t all fit. A killer is on the loose and he’s set-up a night of terror to torment this young family.
His mask looks like a soccer ball stolen from The Collector. Even though a generation that grew up on masked slashers are completely overdoing them in budgeted films today, I can overlook the soccer mom mask. I'll also overlook the awful attempt at CGI on a budget to make a car wheel come off. I have no idea why that couldn't have been done practical though. The real issue here is the random collection of everything creepy they could think of being thrown at the screen without it being cohesive to the story. Little girl laughter coming mysteriously from the woods, a collection of scary dolls, a children’s book with its pages quickly being replaced and gifts left behind that seemingly come from nowhere. Continuity of storytelling is completely forgotten for attempted scares.
A small cast leaves something to be desired both in body count and performances. Acting is still fine for a slasher with lead actress Yvonne Strahovski giving a standout performance above the rest. Filmmaking basics are professional, the movie looks great. Someone was too focused on the details of scenes and not the bigger picture of telling a story when attempting scares. Or perhaps it was lost in the editing room. The story is simple with a killer attacking a family. A more complex tale might have made this movie a mess to follow. The only scares that make sense are the physical attacks that don’t happen until the final act. That end fight scene is basic and realistic and I mean that as a great compliment. They didn’t try to do too much and the end of the movie is perhaps my favorite part.
Available Now on VOD
2 out of 5 Headless Critics
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