Horror is never easy to pull off. People who deliver a memorable horror film deserve far more credit than they receive. When it also gives commentary on divisive times, the challenges increase. There’s Someone Inside Your House, directed by Patrick Brice and written by Henry Gayden, does a good job crafting the horror elements but falls flat elsewhere. There’s Someone Inside Your House has memorable moments; however, it is predictable with a lackluster story and plot that fails to make a lasting impression. Here’s your spoiler warning!
The film, based upon the novel of the same name by Stephanie Perkins, stars Sydney Park (The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars), Asjha Cooper (Chicago Med, All American), Jesse LaTourette (The Devil Below), Diego Josef (Generation), and Dale Whibley (Big Shot) as a quintet of high school misfits trying to stop a killer who shares their victims secrets with everyone. As a horror fan, it’s hard to surprise me in a film. Yet, even if I know who the villain is or how the story will end, I can enjoy the story’s execution. Unfortunately, the end felt more Scream 3 than Scream.
Opening Spark, Then Fizzled
The opening felt like the iconic opening in Scream. Or at least, it started that way. Football player Jackson (Markian Tarasiuk), home alone, awakens to see a creepy egg timer on his nightstand in place of his phone. Jackson tries to leave, but his car is gone. Rarely in horror does the killer take away the victim’s cell and car—they break, not take—which gave me a “this killer ain’t playing” moment. But the killer didn’t disconnect the house phone, so what was the point of taking the cell?
Killers rely on people in films making ridiculous choices, and our victim, Jackson Pace (Markian Tarasiuk), does not disappoint. I’m tired of seeing it play that way. Give me characters who run from danger instead of going toward it. In Scream, Drew Barrymore’s character fled. Jackson hangs up on the cops because of photos on the walls showing a secret sin he committed. I do love that the killer makes a 3D printout of their victim’s face to wear. It must be morbid to see your face staring back at you as you die.
Acting Great, Dialogue So-So, Kills Wonderful
The acting is not the issue. Sydney Park as Makani is great, but there is not enough time or relationship-building to get me invested in the story beyond teens in danger. Dialogue is too on the nose based on current societal issues, while other portions of dialogue left me cheering. The characters could be likable, but we never learn enough about them to feel that emotion. Felt like they were using a horror playbook and, while there’s nothing wrong with that, the film did not make me forget the playbook. The cast assembled are talented, I wish they had more meat in the story for them.
The gory kills in There’s Someone Inside Your House do not cross the line and leave me nauseous. They did make me lean back with a “damn!” I love when each kill is different with a bit of gore. The first kill is still my favorite in this film. I mean I leaned all the way back.
There’s Someone Inside Your House fell short entertaining me. The film doesn’t feel like a satire or parody, but a horror film learning how to horror. If we are talking teen slashers, the trio of Fear Street films get it done. Perhaps another slasher will come along to be this generation’s Scream because There’s Someone Inside Your House is not it. That’s not to say don’t watch. I’ve seen films so bad that people shouldn’t waste seconds, let alone minutes, and this film is not one of them. Just temper your expectations.