Just in case every other horror movie in existence hadn’t given you second thoughts about finishing your novel in a secluded cabin in the forest, this week’s pick will give you another reason to just stay home and watch Netflix instead.
Where to Watch:
In the most realistic/least fun kind of horror, a creepy dude in a mask terrorizes a novelist living alone in the woods.
The Uncondensed Version:
Maddie is a writer who lives alone in the woods. Having lost her hearing at the age of 13, she’s used to the silence if not the solitude. Though having second thoughts about her recent break up, she does have a friendly neighbor, Sarah, to keep her company. She also has a cat because what else do single ladies in the woods do. Heroically, Maddie has named her cat Bitch, which is probably the most fitting name for a cat I’ve ever heard.
Things get really real after Sarah leaves Maddie’s house, interrupted by the arrival of Creepy McCreep-face in one of those hideous featureless masks. Though Sarah screams for help and tries to get Maddie’s attention, Maddie hears nothing.
The Creep manages to slip into the house unnoticed and creepily lurk while Maddie is Face Timing with one of her friends. He seems really determined to drag this whole thing out while being as creepy as possible—Maddie only realizes she’s being watched when he sends fucking creeper pics of her from Sarah’s phone. Twisted, dude.
Oh, and his weapon of choice? A goddamn crossbow. I swear to god, if this is what Game of Thrones hath wrought, is it really worth it? Is it???
Anyway, to further terrify Maddie, the Creep cuts off the power and punctures the tires in her car. She tries to write him a message that she hasn’t seen his face and won’t call the cops…so he promptly takes his mask off to make it clear he intends to kill her.
Maddie decides her best bet is retrieving Sarah’s phone from her body, which the Creep uses to mess with her. Now armed only with a hammer and kitchen knife, Maddie needs to distract the Creep for long enough to search Sarah’s body for the phone. Maddie uses the car pretty ingeniously, but of course this doesn’t work out as planned (we’ve still got an hour to go).
For the next chunk of the film, we have a sort of bait and switch with Maddie coming up with plans to escape and the Creep managing to keep her trapped. Both sustain some pretty gruesome injuries with equally disgusting sound effects.
This continues until John, Sarah’s SO (boyfriend? Husband? Too minor of a character for me to care?) shows up to figure out where she could be. John is annoyingly slow to catch on to what’s happening, which I attribute in part to the actor also playing Anders in BSG, the single most idiotic character on that show. However, John does catch on eventually and gives Maddie a chance to escape. But does she???
3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads
Largely because I don’t have any way to produce an objective rating for this one. It did what it said on the tin, i.e. scared the living daylights out of me and raised my blood pressure for a solid 80 minutes. It was horrifically disgusting in places and ruined any chances I had of ever deciding to go live alone in the woods. Damn it, humanity–this is why we can’t have nice things. The ending is somewhat clever in the way it turns around Maddie’s disability and uses it to her advantage (oops–spoiler?). However, a lot of it was just torturous to watch and made me want to outlaw those fucking featureless masks every goddamn horror creep favors.