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Thursday, 22 August 2013 18:12

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Lionsgate, HanWay Films and Snoot Films present an R rated, 95 minute, horror, thriller, directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett with a theater release date of August 23, 2013.


I am an avid horror fan and I honestly believe for the most part any horror film can make money whether it’s good or bad and this one is not bad.  Grant it it’s a gore fest right from the opening sex scene moment but it really has potential and is far from boring.  Heck it caused me to jump twice and that’s unusual anymore for me.
Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) and Paul Davison (Rob Moran) is off to their country home for a family reunion to celebrate their 35th anniversary.  When they arrive at their huge estate home Paul notices the door is unlocked but when they enter nothing is beyond normal.   That is until that evening when Aubrey hears footsteps coming from upstairs in the house.  When Paul goes upstairs to investigate he finds nothing but the arrival of his son Crispian (AJ Bowen) who happens to be the first to arrive with his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson).  The next day Drake (Joe Swanberg) and his wife Kelly (Margaret Laney) arrive and soon that evening their sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz), her film maker boyfriend Tariq (Ti West) along with the youngest brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and his somewhat quiet girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn) arrive.
All looks to be fine as the family gathers together for dinner which in this case for many of them happens to be their last supper.  Thankfully they said their prayers before eating!  Soon into their conversations at the dinner table the killings begin and one by one the family members start to die by the hands of men in animal masks, a Lamb (L.C. Holt), Tiger (Simon Barrett) and a Fox (Lane Hughes).  As the night progresses the remaining family members fight for their lives in and out of the house.  Little did they know that one member in the house actually has some major survival skills and will not go down without a major fight to the bitter and bloody end.  Last words spoken, “No don’t”.
I did not know what to expect from this film since it almost reflects the recent released film, “Purge” in regards to a family trapped inside a house.  One big difference this story has many more family members and some of them have secrets that create many twists and turns throughout the story.  The direction is pretty good but surely could have been a bit more psychologically realistic at times but for the most part Wingard does a nice job of keeping it intense along with some whimsical “Home Alone” moments added in to the scary “Strangers” reflection.  Barrett does justice to the script but at times he gives some things away if you pay attention to what the actors have spewing from their mouths besides blood.  I thought some of the lighter moments were a bit too funny seeing that if there are three psychos killing my family the last thing on my mind would be levity.
Overall the acting was fair, probably the worst part of the film although still not horrible.  Thankfully there was one shining star in particular that really saves the acting part of the film; Vinson really overshadowed the rest of the actors by far.  Swanberg definitely has his moments as does Bowen but besides Vinson the three killers Holt, Barrett and Hughes seemed to act quite well maybe because these three did not have many lines and for the most part you could not see their faces.  As for the worst roles of the night hands down it goes to Crampton, Seimetz with Tucci falling somewhere between good and bad.  But all this aside if you like horror, gore, blood, killing, thrills and actually a really good plot twist than this film will definitely knock you out.  Overall the film really kept my attention so I’d have to say this is written with two and half paws out of four.

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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