A trio of petty thieves think their next target, a blind veteran living alone, is an easy job with an extremely high reward. They soon find out they’ve underestimated him in more ways than one. Directed and written by Fede Alvarez (2013s Evil Dead), this film is so twisted and unpredictable that you’ll never expect what’s coming next.
Rocky (Jane Levy) wants to escape an abusive home and move to California with her younger sister and boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto). The couple have been breaking into homes in the Detroit area with friend Alex (Dylan Minnette), who seems to care more about Rocky than the money they’re making. They soon find out a secluded blind man, played by the intimidating Stephen Lang, is sitting on a cash goldmine and make it their last job. They are seemingly pros. They have every step figured out from dealing with the dog, to the alarm, to the sleeping man upstairs. However, they’re in his domain and truly have no idea what he is capable of.
What I loved about this film was its originality. Here we are on the side of the supposed bad guys – a group of burglars. The viewer will find themselves wavering between feeling pity for the victim, until we realize he is no longer just that. Throughout the film, any time you as the viewer feel you’ve figured out the full story, you’re proven wrong. As you find yourself saying “well they should just escape this way”, Lang’s character already knows, and he’s prepared. You’re unsure the entire time, which makes it incredibly terrifying.
One thing worth noting is that the film leans more towards a thriller than horror, though it’s still enjoyable for fans of both. I think it’s a great way for people who may not be into Evil Dead-level horror to see Alvarez’s filmmaking style. If you’re not a fan of gore, but you love that heart-pounding thrill, you’ll find this movie to be a fun ride. The best parts were the ones in complete silence and/or darkness. You practically hold your breath during these scenes and feel yourself becoming more and more uneasy.
The screening itself was so incredible. It was part of Bruce Campbell’s Film Fest at Wizard World Chicago and we were all surprised when the man himself showed up and introduced Fede Alvarez before the film. At the conclusion of the film, Alvarez was joined by *surprise* Stephen Lang for a Q&A. No phones were allowed so I have no documentation of this and most of the answers would be considered spoilery, but just know it was awesome!
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