This is a neat little horror movie about a boogen that haunts a family but can only move in darkness—though with some obvious exceptions since if it were really total darkness, you’d never be able to see it, and that wouldn’t fly in a movie today, most likely. Teresa Palmer (Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies) plays Rebecca, a young woman living her chaotic, solitary life who gets drawn back home when her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) ends up calling her because things have gotten weird at home, ever since stepdad (Billy Burke—not the good witch from the Wizard of Oz, but the guy who was in the Twilight movies)…uh…crap, no spoilers. Let’s just say stepdad has been having some work issues and mom (Maria Bello, Prisoners, A History of Violence) has been having some “friends” over.
Like, the invisible kind of friends. That she argues with a lot. About whether or not to kill her family.
This movie doesn’t really tease the insanity angle. We know, right away, there’s some sort of evil spirit afoot. And through the course of the movie, Rebecca comes to understand her mother better, and understand that her difficulties in life could actually be reduced if she didn’t keep people at arm’s length—specifically, best-boyfriend-ever, Bret (played by Alexander DiPersia), who seems like the kind of guy who sticks by you through thick-and-thin, even when ghosts be throwing things at you.
Director David F. Sandberg keeps things movie briskly, working off his own short film (a common thing these days) with a script by remake-king Eric Heisserer (who did the screenplays for the recent Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing and Final Destination 5) and who knows how much assistance from horror maestro James Wan (The Conjuring 2, Insidious). I mean, literally, who knows (other than them)? Sometimes people just throw their names on films for producer credits, or to do a “Joe Blow Presents”.
The Boy and I both really liked this one, and with a total runtime of 81 minutes (including credits), the only reason it’ll keep you up late is if, after watching it, you’re afraid to turn the lights out.