I’ve always really liked horror movies. Even though after a while they’re fairly predictable, and often times they end up being more cheesy than scary, I find it hard to pull away from the draw when looking for something to watch on Netflix, Hulu, or one of my other streaming services. Much of what I end up choosing is not good, sometimes to the point of unwatchable, but sometimes I find hidden gems in there, and I’ll be reviewing both.
I’ll be sort of operating under a typical rating system, but just in case, I’ve broken it down for you so you know what I mean when I say I think a movie is x *
***** – Hidden (or maybe not hidden) Gem
**** – Actually Enjoyable
*** – Entertaining, Maybe for the Wrong Reasons
** – Not Awful, but Close
* – Made my Eyes Bleed
The first movie I’ll be reviewing is a movie I found this past weekend. I was skipping through, reading the blurbs on Netflix, when one called Stephanie stopped me. The blurb is “She’s alone. Abandoned. Trying to survive on her own at the family home. And she’s trapped inside with a monster.”
That certainly managed to grab my attention, and with hardly another thought I put it on.
Now this movie starts out a little on the slow side. Just a little girl going around doing little girl things. Even though the description told me there were no parents to speak of, I found myself shouting at the TV when she did something to endanger herself, because, well, little kids are sometimes not the best at decision making. Early on we’re introduced to the concept of this ‘monster,’ but Stephanie is able to keep quiet and it always goes away.
We never really see the monster, which I actually really liked. In times where special effects, if done properly, can create just about anything in a super realistic light, I found the /idea/ of a creature to be much more terrifying than the actual thing. Stephanie is plagued by nightmares, and her actions while she’s awake begin to make us think that her loneliness might be starting to take a mental toll on her, something happens I did not expect.
Stephanie’s parents — who I’d written off as dead — return.
Now, from a few clips of news broadcasts while Stephanie flips through channels tell us there is something bigger happening, something on at least a national (though if I recall it is global) scale, and we never really get a sort of definitive answer as to what exactly is going on. But I’ll touch a little more on that later.
After this, things pick up, and the movie really gets going. I’m doing my best to keep this a spoiler-free review, but I was pleasantly surprised when we finally did the get the monster’s reveal. It was a reveal that made me actually think about it after the fact and find all the little details that pointed that way the entire time. It was a nice change in the horror movie world that I usually see of a very cut and dry demon/monster/ghost/etc.
While the actual ending of the movie did leave me with some unanswered questions, such as what exactly the monsters want with the nation/world (as I stated above, there are news broadcasts that indicate other monsters are wreaking havoc in other parts of the world), how they managed to infiltrate the way they did, and what an end goal for them truly is. While these are questions I wish we’d gotten a hint of an answer toward, I’m not super upset about having them hanging without, as I was overall really happy with the ending. Even my partner, who usually doesn’t pay much attention when I throw on a movie, said something along the lines of “That was really good,” when the movie finished.
I’ve given this movie top marks, a 5/5: Hidden (or Not so Hidden) Gem. It’s a bit of a ‘slow burn’ and doesn’t rely on jumpscares or gore to get the ‘horror’ across.