The title for the new Netflix horror movie “There’s Someone Inside Your House” has a straightforward old-school ring to it. Too bad it doesn’t come close to the numerous movies it draws from. This drab and forgettable slasher lacks all of the energy, fun, and frights the bloody sub-genre is known for.
And about that title, I’m sure there’s some reason behind it that I don’t know, but “There’s Someone Inside Your House” seems like a generic name slapped on for the heck of it. It certainly doesn’t fit with anything in the movie. Well, there is that one kid who is killed in a house. I guess that’s supposed to be enough?
Directed by Patrick Brice (“Creep”, “Creep 2”) and written by Henry Gayden (“Shazam!”), the film is an adaptation of a 2017 novel of the same name by Stephanie Perkins. Most surprising are the names listed among the producers – Shawn Levy and James Wan. I’m not sure how the two became attached to the project, but you’ll have a hard time finding any of their influences on the finished product.
The movie begins as many of these things do, with an unsuspecting teen being brutally murdered (ala “Scream”). Here it’s an Osborne High School football player who (like everyone else in the movie) has an ugly secret that the killer takes pleasure in exposing. His or her reasons, we learn later, are unbelievably shallow. It’s one of many things you’ll be asked to go with during the film’s mercifully short running time.
After the opening, it’s slasher formula 101 – introduce the killer’s fodder (most often a group of insufferable teens) and then slice them, carve them, chop them, and impale them one by one. That’s this movie in a nutshell. They do throw in a few lightweight personal stories, but none of them amount to much and none move things forward in any meaningful way.
Rather than concentrating on storytelling, the film’s only dedicated interest is in showing how progressive it is. Not through any keen insight or smartly conceived characters. Instead we get it in bad on-the-nose dialogue and laughably shallow characterizations of progressives and conservatives. Thankfully not many from the left or right go to slasher flicks hoping for profound and invigorating political commentary. For those who do…I have some bad news.
From there the movie plods along on repeat with the killer targeting another kid and then releasing their darkest secret, usually through a massive group text (good thing the killer has the entire community’s phone numbers). Then of course they’re killed in one of several (mostly) uninspired ways. And when it finally reaches its end, the mystery of who’s behind the mask lands with a thud and offers no meaningful payoff.
Netflix has a wild yet interesting track record when it comes to horror films and they’ve had several stinkers lately. And with the aftertaste of the disappointing brain-mush that was the “Fear Street” trilogy lingering, I was hoping “There’s Someone Inside Your House” would be a nice palate cleanser. Not so. It’s a slushy, forgettable, scare-free movie that’s content with riding the coattails of better ones. “There’s Someone Inside Your House” is now streaming on Netflix.