The PG-13 horror movie is usually a red flag for a terrible movie. Unfortunately my curiosity always seems to get the best of me and I end up in the theater watching some half assed effort. While this is nowhere near the worst horror film I’ve ever seen it certainly is not a winner. It’s cliché after cliché and unrealistic decision making and reactions by the characters which I guess are just another cliché. It has its jump scares and a few tense moments every now and then but for the most part it’s just a weak execution of its premise and ultimately a lackluster ending.
The Barrets are just another average suburban family, nothing significant stands out about these people. So why then would anyone want to harm them? In the beginning they are the targets of innocent pranks. They awaken to a messy kitchen or an open door but no real harm done, but before long though everything begins to deteriorate into a full blown nightmare. Bruises and cuts start showing on the children’s bodies, the mother loses large chunks of her day with zero memory of what transpired. The dad with no previous history suddenly starts sleepwalking. Every night they have horrific nightmares about someone in their family suffering some horrible accident.
On top of all this the outside world seems to be looking up on them with suspicious eyes. People begin to suspect that sinister things are taking place in the Barret household, things like child abuse. If only negligent parenting were the cause of all this misfortune, the Barrets are not so lucky. The last thing in the world that they would ever expect or could possibly fathom is in fact the very thing causing this downward spiral. Through research the wife learns that others across the globe have experienced the very same occurrences. She comes to a very crazy but very sound conclusion; aliens are the culprits behind it all.
In true horror movie fashion, no one believes her. It isn’t until the rest of the family witness undeniable evidence that they understand she may be right about what is going on. In her research she comes across a man who might be able to help. All he ends up doing is confirming what they already knew and simply adds to the terror. He tells them that when a family is chosen by “them” it is a precursor to abduction. One family member will be picked and taken leaving the rest in a cloud of confusion and pain. They will never understand what happened or why they were chosen, they will simply be left behind. All they can do to prevent this is fight with everything they have. Hopefully the aliens will become frustrated and move on, but it’s unlikely. Once you are chosen, there is nothing left but waiting. Except fate, resistance is hopeless.
The idea is something that intrigued me; the execution however leaves a lot to be desired. It’s as if when writing this they couldn’t decide between an alien story and a paranormal story. So they decided to take elements of both and mash them up to make this mess of a movie. In the end I didn’t feel as though I wanted my money back but more like if I hadn’t seen it I would have just been better off. I hope that makes sense. When this is released on DVD it will be forgotten quickly, at least until they make a sequel for it. After all that’s what Hollywood does, they give the public sequels we didn’t want to movies we didn’t like. The Last Exorcism 2 comes to mind. I try not to recommend movies I think people will hate or even just not care for so I say skip this, it’s an okay movie and I say that generously. I have to add that Scott Stewart directed this. He was the “brilliant” mind behind such gems as Legion and Priest. Make of this what you will.
Rated PG-13 for: violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language – all involving teens
Runtime: 97 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 2
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls