Director Patrick Brice, most known for directing the feature Creep, returns to the horror scene with a new slasher film. There’s Someone Inside Your House, based on the novel by Stephanie Perkins, follows a group of teenagers in small-town rural Nebraska as they seek to uncover who is behind a string of grisly murders in their high school. What director Brice and co-writer Henry Gayden try to do here with the slasher genre is admirable. However, what follows is a predictable and sometimes narratively messy horror film. Still though, all credit to Brice for trying to do something different in the genre of slasher horror films. That’s definitely what There’s Someone Inside Your House pulls off to a certain extent.
The film’s main character is Makani Young (Sydney Park), a transfer student with a dark past. She’s finishing out her senior year at Osbourne High, the local high school. As a loner, she’s taken in by other “rejects” in the school. If this all sounds familiar to you, it’s because the setup surrounding the otherwise original story is unfortunately very cliche. From the opening of the film, Brice hooks you with an absolutely brutal and terrifying sequence. Unfortunately, the originality and palpable tension in the scene is a distant echo for the rest of the film.
The rest of the cast’s filled out by Théodore Pellerin as Oliver Larsson, Asjha Cooper as Alex Crisp, Dale Whibley as Zach Sanford, Jesse LaTourette as Darby, Diego Josef as Rodrigo, Burkely Duffield as Caleb Greeley, Sarah Dugdale as Katie Koons, William MacDonald as Mr. Sanford, Andrew Dunba as Deputy Chris Larsson, and Markian Tarasiuk as Jackson Pace. Each plays their roles to the best of their abilities. Moreover, some of the students come off like caricatures or over-exaggerated cartoon versions of what high school students are like.
This isn’t a bad thing, though. In what is a clear satire, There’s Someone Inside Your House does a good job with its commentary on cancel culture. Moreover, the story’s themes and messages on the current state of social media and high school culture were moving at times. The only problem is how predictable the plot is. The cast of characters is entertaining, but not necessarily compelling enough to move the mystery forward. The cast has some memorable performances, mainly because of how exaggerated they come across.
Because of that, what follows is an on-the-nose commentary and predictable story beats. There’s Someone Inside Your House has plenty of memorable kills and some fun-albeit cheap-scares that help to keep the audience engaged. Brice and Gayden also do their best script-wise to throw in twists and turns and meaningless subplots to try and throw you off their scent. However, it isn’t enough. Well before the film reaches its conclusion, you can see very clearly where the story is going and, more importantly, the person responsible for the grisly killings.
Everything about the killer and their theatrics is entertaining enough. Wearing masks that resemble their victims was a highlight, making most of the scenes the killer is in truly terrifying. While it may be lacking in the story department, the creativity in the horror aspect is respectable.
Overall, There’s Someone Inside Your House is quite a mixed bag. There are some humorous moments and inspired kills, which is all you could really ask for from horror movies like these. However, it’s hard to appreciate the poignant story because it’s so predictable. While it is very timely, the execution of the concept is off. If anything, There’s Someone Inside Your House makes for a short entertaining watch with some cheap and fun scares. Don’t try looking for anything else. – Ernesto Valenzuela
There’s Someone Inside Your House Premieres on Netflix October 6th