Simple Review: And he brought a bad script with him!
What would my life be like without Netflix? Instead of doing something as productive as starting a new hobby like knitting with dog hair, reading a classic work of literature such as Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets or silently weeping as I ponder on the loneliness of my life, I scroll through the endless list of movies that my friend Netflix has to offer. Sometimes Netflix delivers a quality piece of entertainment that leaves me satisfied with my choice. Most of the time, however, Netflix only serves to make me regret wasting what little time I have left on this blue rock floating through the cosmos. This review will center on a horror movie I discovered after 90 minutes of scrolling through choices, called He’s Out There. This isn’t a Netflix original, but it was on my favorite streaming service, so don’t get all technical with me about calling this a Netflix review. Remember how much you paid me for this review!
He’s Out There is a tale of horror revolving around a family as they spend a weekend trip at a secluded lake house. Soon this fun weekend getaway turns into sheer terror and a fight to survive the maniac that is…well, out there. This is familiar ground to cover in a horror movie and He’s Out There doesn’t bring anything new or even exciting to the genre, however, it is a weird movie to watch. Not weird in a surreal, David Cronenberg way ( which would have been wonderful), no this is weird because it is a terrible story that has surprisingly good direction. To the movie’s credit, it kept my attention enough to keep me from hitting the eject button while it crashed and burned. Does that mean I recommend watching He’s Out There? You won’t get the answer that easy. I don’t know what you are used to, but I don’t give it up without a little effort on your part. So let’s grab a flashlight and run out into the dark woods hoping he doesn’t catch us before we finish this review.
We will start with the positives this movie delivers, with the first one being the aforementioned direction. The director is listed as Quinn Lasher, who has zero other credits to his name, and according to the movie nerd bible IMDB, the directing credit was changed from Dennis Iliadis, who directed the Last House on the Left remake, after the film didn’t receive a theatrical release. ” What does this mean?” you may be asking me. Not much, I just wanted you to know I did some research to help bring you the best review I could so maybe you would like me more. Getting back on track, this is a well-directed horror movie delivering the right amount of tension and scares to keep one watching. The camera was used effectively, putting you in the house with the mother and her young daughters as the tension ramps up. I especially like a shot that revealed how secluded the house was, it added a sense of dread and fear for what would be happening to the lovely family in the near future. Overall, I would say the direction was the single reason I stuck with this movie all the way to the end as whoever the director was he created a tense horror movie with enough atmosphere and scares to maintain interest throughout.
Adding to the positives were the performances of the main female lead and the two child actors. Yvonne Strahovski is Laura the young mother who is forced to fight for her families survival. Yvonne carries the movie and brings a believability to the role which keeps you rooting for her to save her family. My only complaint isn’t so much on the performance but more on the fact I think, as a parent, one would be quicker to fight back in this situation, but that has more to do with the writing than the performance. The two young girls who play Laura’s daughters might annoy you but I liked the way they acted in the movie. They were both young with my guess being the oldest around 10 and the youngest around 7 and the director let them react to things like a young child would. They cry, scream and yell out for their parents like any kid in that situation would. It was refreshing for them to not be too clever as it added to the believability of the situation. The oldest daughter even has a nice character arc with her overcoming her fear to take charge towards the end. The men in the movie are either useless or the typical crazed killer you’ve seen a million times so we won’t give any more effort to their performances.
He’s Out There and he brought a terrible script and horror cliches galore. The writing in this movie absolutely kills any positives in the direction created. It is either generic or flat out, insultingly stupid. I am going to try to avoid spoilers so forgive me if I am a little vague on some of my criticisms. The killers’ motivation is handled poorly with any information either given by a character as a throwaway line or from the exposition-heavy speech the killer makes that is just awful. Without giving too much away, he has apparently been watching this family for years when they visited this house and now he is going to kill them. I think that is the gist of it as I may have missed a few details caused by the loud laughing I was doing. So what was he doing in the year from the last time the family visited? Does he have a regular job, belong to a bowling league and have a girlfriend but has to leave his regular life to off this family? Or does he just live in the woods? If so where did he get his clothes, weapons, crazy mask, and baking supplies? Yes, this killer has a cupcake fetish that serves as the catalyst to the story. He has a weird string and doll fetish as well, so if any of you ladies are into that sort of thing we may have found your soulmate.
I could go on and on with the stupidity of this movie but I am old and tired and need my rest now. I cannot recommend He’s Out There as a horror movie worth watching, even on Netflix. While the female performances are solid and the direction was surprisingly effective the movie is just too dumb and cliched to recommend. There are better movies similar to this that are worthy of your valuable time and a good twist on this familiar plot is delivered by the 2015 movie Intruders. Go watch that one instead, it isn’t perfect but it at least tries to be creative.
We have reached the end of this wild ride of a review and I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. If you did please like, comment, follow and share this brilliant blog so we can take over the world!
As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho