An innovative genre twist by upcoming-talent Flanagan cleverly silencing home invasion & removing one of slasher films’ most instinctual senses: sound, with a brilliant Siegel performance but too-early a reveal & maskless interplay. 7.1/10.
A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears in her window.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Most Memorable Moment: 1. Opening mask intro, 2. Syncing up heartbeat to flashbacks – brilliant filmmaking, 3. Sarah’s checking up, 4. John’s downfall
Pros: Of course an incredibly inventive and borderline brilliant concept and genre spicing having a slasher film you can’t hear anything in – turning one of the only senses scream queens/victims have to be able to survive in most slasher environments and negating it – allowing for some downright uneasy situations making you want to scream at Maggie to turn around and giving the killer some tantalizing and unbelievably suspenseful fresh ways to toy with her and the audience like the phone message and Maggie’s pounding on the door falling on (literally) deaf ears, Cool filter in visuals giving it a chilled effect to match the darkness of the subject matter, great build-up and character introduction especially for what boils down to a slasher movie that’s been kind of sullied by recent franchising/milking, good design and mask for the killer looking homage-like to Ghostface/Myers (although I wish it covered all of his face and that it wasn’t clear he was a guy and not any of the limited characters we’re introduced to in the beginning), great suspense and cleverness eliminating slasher tropes with the killer taking extra precautions like letting air out of the tires and taking her phone/disabling any means of escape or calling for help, some downright twisted ways of toying with her like knocking on the window with her dead friend’s corpse, good setting in a house that small and isolated in the woods, clever screenplay in something personal and rarely what the genre has seen as well as good interplay between the two characters as the situation evolves, film is anchored and elevated by far by Kate Siegel’s performance – happy to see her career started to take off after this like in A Haunting of Hill House since she deserved it, some brilliant scenes like weighing the options of running hiding or waiting and how each would end plus turning hunted into hunter as I never understood why some slasher things, lulls in the middle act but gets good again when he finally invades and the action gets house-centered, thrilling ending once the home invasion.. finally invades home and artful filmmaking by Flanagan in the final scene syncing up final heartbeats to life flashbacks and strongly-scored final shot
Cons: REALLY hate how the killer revealed himself so early (and that it wasn’t someone with a connection to her backstory – personal preference but the strongest slashers always at least have some connection to their prey imo) since it takes away a lot of the gravity of the reveal and not as intimidating-looking when he doesn’t even have his mask on for most of the film…., slow middle act with too much teasing and not enough action
Overall Rating: 7.1/10