After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.
THE GOOD STUFF
MASON THAMES AND MADELEINE MCGRAW- The rise of the child actors is upon us ladies and gentlemen. I don’t know what they put in the water post-pandemic, but between TV actors like Marsai Martin, (Blackish) Javon Walton (Euphoria) and Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) on television, or names like Woody Norman in C’mon C’mon or Mckenna Grace and Logan Kim in Ghostbusters: afterlife, post-pandemic child actors are out here winning in a big time non-Disney Channel type of way.
Although I do understand using the four-time Oscar nominee in your cast to promote this film, (More on him in a sec) this film completely belongs to McGraw (who completely owns the first half of this movie) and Thames. (who COMPLETELY owns the second half) These are in fact two very soulful performances. The kind of soulful performances that make it all but unimaginable to not see their faces in many films in the future. Bravo.
HONEST SCARES- This is a psychological thriller. This is not a horror movie. I can only make that declaration because these “horror buffs” out here say that movies like this (that lack the blood and gore that they lust after) is not “true” horror. And I constantly find myself disappointed in these conversations, because a lot of horror movies just don’t have the honest scares that this film does.
The first 20 minutes or so of this film is dedicated to get the audience to give a s*** about the actual characters that we will be following. And because of that, intense situations that they are put into, make the entire experience more engrossing than the average horror buff’s favorite gorefest.
ETHAN HAWKE- Is there any one actor hitting more home runs in 2022 than Ethan Hawke? Through merely supporting performances in The Northman, Moon Knight, this film, and the Knives Out sequel that will be coming later on this year… Hawke is on an incredible winning streak. His villain is not put in the position to become an actual fleshed out character, nor will he become a modern-day cinematic iconic villain like let’s say a Jigsaw or a Ghostface. And that’s all for the best when you have the lead performances that you have in this film.
THE BAD STUFF
Everything involving James Ransone– James Ransone is an actor I’ve always vouched for. He has quite a few incredible supporting performances, in a lot of very legendary things like generation kill, the wire, and he was the adult version of Eddie in the It remake of a couple of years ago. He is consistently good.
What they do with his character from beginning to end is utterly ridiculous in this film. But because describing literally everything his character does is bordering on spoiler territory, I cannot go into it here. But I assure you, after you see this movie you will come out thinking of his character the same way I did….
THE UGLY STUFF
Zilch. Great films such as this rarely have ugly things.
It will perhaps take another viewing of this film for me to go anywhere close to call and get a masterpiece. That seems to overstated at the moment. What I can say however, is that this is a top five movie of the year, if nothing else. Kudos to everybody involved. Scott Derrickson is a horror director that has always been hit or miss for me. But when he makes a hit he hits an absolute grand slam.
This is one of those grand slams.