(director/writer: Jonathan Milott/Cary Murnion; screenwriters: Lane Skye/Ruckus Skye/Nick Morris; cinematographer: Greta Zozula; editor: Alan Canant; music: Nima Fakhrara; cast: Lulu Wilson (Becky), Joel McHale ( Jeff), Kevin James (Dominick), Robert Maillet (Apex), Amanda Brugel (Kayla), Ryan McDonald (Cole), James McDougal (Hammond), Isaiah Rockliffe (Tye); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman, J.D. Lifshitz, Raphael Margules, Russ Posternak; Quiver Distribution; 2020)
“Lulu Wilson gives the kind of outrageous performance that indicates the strong possibility of future stardom.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Co-directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion (“Bushwick”) stylishly deliver a violent home-invasion escapist B-film thriller. Screenwriters Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye and Nick Morris bring marvelously written gory set-pieces to the story, but it’s mindless entertainment that’s filled with clunky dialogue and a sense the adult actors are only going through the motions by play-acting.
The film starts at the end, with the girl heroine survivor Becky ( Lulu Wilson) telling the police what happened during a home-invasion, and through flashbacks tells her grizzly story.
The comedian Kevin James plays against type as the smart but brutish Dominick (and proves he would be better off sticking to type). He’s the leader of a prison Aryan Brotherhood gang that escaped from prison, and he’s dressed to the max as a tough-looking skinhead with a bushy beard and a swastika tattoo on his head. Beside Dominick, the escapees are the hulking, second in command, Apex (Robert Maillet), Cole (Ryan McDonald) and Hammond (James McDougall). The felons are expecting to find something buried on the premises of value to them, but are surprised to find the lake house is occupied by a family.
A father named Jeff (Joel McHale) and his 13-year-old daughter Becky (Lulu Wilson, age 14) are there trying to reconnect for a weekend after the recent death of the matriarch due to cancer.
Becky has outgrown the childhood nickname of “Chipmunk,” and resents that her dad still calls her that. She misses mom so much and is upset when dad announces he will remarry Kayla (Amanda Brugel), who brings along to the weekend visit her little boy Tye (Isaiah Rockliffe).
The felons invade the house and hold the occupants hostage, but Becky is not there. She’s playing in the woods. When she sees what’s happening instead of escaping and getting the police, she single-handedly takes on the felons by showing that in her rage she has the ability to get physical with them.
Lulu Wilson gives the kind of outrageous performance that indicates the strong possibility of future stardom, as she turns out to be the best thing about a film with too many serious plot holes to be taken seriously.
REVIEWED ON 6/4/2020 GRADE: C+