M. Night Shyamalan directs Dave Bautista, Ben Aldridge and Jonathan Graff in this apocalyptic thriller where four strangers invade a family’s holiday home asking them to make a sacrifice to save the world.
Like most Shyamalan movies this is about taking a twisted leap of faith. If you can’t – your world turns to hell. If you can put aside your logic and cynicism, well… M. Night can keep making his extended spins on The Outer Limits / Twilight Zone. And I want him to. As even though he is very hit and miss, even though the deadpan, declarative style of acting he encourages is off putting and even if he’s not really given a chance by a big corner of film fandom… there is something quite worthwhile in the niche he furrows. The opening sequence between Bautista (exemplary) and seven year-old Kristen Cui is electric, full of foreboding and tenderness. Jarin Blaschke’s celluloid cinematography is lush and deep. The title theme by Herdís Stefánsdóttir and choice of credit font really sets the tone. Think Eighties VHS shop era sleeper. I’m not saying Shyamalan manages to sustain the thrills or keep you out of your own headspace throughout. But it’s a pretty rattling thriller at its peaks, one that could easily inspire the next generation of Jordan Peeles or Robert Eggers.
Perfect Double Bill: The Cabin In The Woods (2011)
My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/