“This wasn’t a random attack! Our family’s being targeted.”
Crispian (A.J. Bowen) is on the way to a family reunion is Missouri and is taking his new girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) with him to meet the family. He does not seem thrilled about the reunion aspect or spending time with his parents, but there they are. At the vacation house, Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey (Barbara Crampton), Crispian’s parents, are attempting to get the house ready and settle in. The rest of Crispian’s family arrives, consisting of his condescending and superior brother Drake (Joe Swanberg) and his wife Kelly (Margaret Laney), his younger sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz) and her boyfriend Tariq (Ti West), and his older brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and his girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn). Big happy family.
Their reunion does not go as planned, and before anyone knows what is happening, an attack has been launched against the family over a squabble at dinner. Tariq is killed and Drake is shot through the shoulder with an arrow. Mass panic ensues, and nobody seems to know what to do. Erin starts to assume control, and has everyone take cover in the entry hall of the massive home. Using chairs as cover, the party starts to move, though the attack seems endless. A plan is hatched to let Aimee run for a car and to go and get help, seeing as she is the fastest running. The attempt is botched badly when Aimee is mangled by a garrote wire that was strung up in front of the door. Erin assumes control, trying to plan defences.
Whoever is out there is intent on getting them. Erin is scarily good at defence, and is exasperated when the whole family does what they want anyway. Aubrey is not dealing with Aimee’s death, and is butchered upstairs in her room by an assailant wearing a fox mask (Lane Hughes). The assailant is still in the house, making it just as unsafe inside. Kelly figures this out first, and flees in a panic, though she does not make it far. The intruders have already butchered the neighbours, and Kelly is soon caught by a man in a lamb mask. Crispian tells Erin that he is going to try and get to a car, try and get away and get help for them, he is sure that driving a bit will get him out of the cellular deadzone that has been inflicted on the family. Erin is not pleased, but ultimately has to let him go. She needs to get the remaining family members sorted and organised, find a way to survive, all the while hoping that Crispian finds help soon.
Who has launched the nonsensical attack on the family? When will Crispian return? Will help arrive before they have all been butchered? Why is Erin so adept at defences? Is she a part of what is going on? Why is she so knowledgeable? Will she be able to get them all covered and safe enough to wait for help, or will the family have to join in on the brutalities in order to survive? Is there method to the madness?
This is a fun film provided you do not try to take it too seriously, because then the flawed logic will completely pummel your mind. It was put together well, there was the obligatory blood, guts, and gore, I really liked that, it was well done. It was one of those permanent instances of “you idiots” flashing through your mind but it was a lot of fun, and it was worth waiting for. I can see why some people would have issues, but I can also understand the praise that the film garnered. I must say that there were no likable characters in here though, nobody you really root for or can understand, but then again a horror/slasher film really isn’t that much about character development. I thought that Sharni Vinson did a very good job as Erin, she really had me wondering what the hell was up half the time. I thought the premise was alright, though certainly nothing revolutionary. It was shot well, too. The movie played it safe, overall, in terms of what it tried to do, but the recipe worked for this. I had a pretty good time with this one!