(director/writer: Charles Dorfman; screenwriter: story by Statten Roeg; cinematographer: Charlie Herranz; editor: Tommy Boulding; music: Marc Canham; cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Eve), Iwan Rheon (Adam), Tom Cullen (Lucas), Inès Spiridonov (Chloe), Connor Swindells (Dan), Will Kemp (John Wickes, Crow),Tommy McDonnell(Neil); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Laurie Cook, Charles Dorfman, Jason Newmark:IFC Midnight; 2021-UK)
“Has some merit but disappoints because it is more interested in the film’s conversation parts than in providing the scares needed for a horror pic.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A home invasion thriller (promoted as a horror pic) that’s set over the course of twenty-four hours in the Surrey countryside of England. The first feature as director by Brit producer Charles Dorfman has some merit but disappoints because it is more interested in the film’s conversation parts than in providing the scares needed for a horror pic.
The smarmy, confident real estate developer Lucas (Tom Cullen) promotes the English countryside new idyllic community called “Gaeta” (the Gallic word for “gateway”) to city folks. The locals strongly oppose the community for wrecking their serene way of life and don’t trust the duplicitous developer. The word out is a former partner of Lucas, who owned the land on which a lovely house was built, died of a heart attack soon after initiating a lawsuit against Lucas.
The mediocre and timid filmmaker of commercials Adam (Iwan Rheon) and his successful and free-speaking sculptor wife Eva (Catalina Sandino Moreno) are thinking of being the first residents in the Gateway development and plan on deciding that evening, on his birthday, if they will sign the papers to buy the house.
That evening the Alpha-male bearded Lucas shows up with his actress girlfriend Chloe (Inès Spiridonov) to dine with Adam and Eva (the biblical named couple) in their potential new dream house and get the couple to sign on for ownership of the property. During the gathering word gets out that Chloe is pregnant, which concerns Adam since he has something going on with her. The civilized gathering soon turns barbaric as they get into a conflict with each other and their conversations get nasty.
In the third act, after a lot of bitter chatter, the dinner party is interrupted by home invaders (3 men in animal masks and armed with a shotgun). The emasculated Adam, who couldn’t put down a fox in an earlier scene, must prove his masculinity here by using his brute strength to kill the invaders to survive.
The film doesn’t have much to say about true masculinity, and I would rank it below average as a home invasion genre film.
REVIEWED ON 5/20/2022 GRADE: C+