(director: Orson Oblowitz; screenwriter: Corey Deshon; cinematographer: Noah Rosenthal; editor: Brett Solem; music: Jonathan Snipes; cast: Zach Avery (Joseph), Jonathan Howard (Victor), Fairuza Balk (The Visitor), Angela Trimbur (Sarah), Janel Parrish (Estelle), Carlo Rota (Sergeant Daniels), Sebastian Sozzi (Officer Ramirez, Sergeant’s partner), Joey Abril ( Intruder #1), Chris Gann (Intruder #2), Shaun W. Loeser (Intruder #3); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Diego & Julio Hallivis; IFC Midnight; 2018)

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

“Pleasingly sleek.”

Orson Oblowitz (“The Queen of Hollywood Blvd”) directs and Corey Deshon writes another home invasion horror pic, but one with a slightly different spin and one that’s pleasingly sleek.

Two screwed-up couples, with relationship issues, together rent for the week-end a remote luxury California desert home to party in and see if they can resolve their personal things. The ladies, Sarah (Angela Trimbur) and Estelle (Janel Parrish), have been friends for a longtime, and are looking forward to this time together after being briefly estranged. Victor (Jonathan Howard), a gun-carrying, control-freak, asshole and coke addict, is with his new girlfriend Estelle. Sarah is trying to save her rocky marriage with her insensitive hubby Joseph (Zach Avery) and recover from a recent miscarriage, but is unaware Joseph had sex with her girlfriend.

The guests are unaware that prior to their visit (in the prologue), three masked, machete-wielding cartel-like dudes searched the house for something and when they couldn’t find what they were looking for, they abducted and killed the couple who live there.

Tensions rise as the guys don’t have good vibes for each other, as the couple do blow and have hot tub sex. They are interrupted by an irritating but seemingly harmless stranger, claiming to be a neighbor (Fairuza Balk), who knocks on their door asking for help with her car problem. When inside the house her snooping leads to a loud argument with the offended Victor and a visit by the local cops to check-out the disturbance.

When the bad dudes return after the police visit, things turn bloody. In this stylish slasher film, the foursome are in the wrong spot and at the wrong time. The result is a bloody good horror genre film that commands your attention, even if the narrative makes little sense.


REVIEWED ON 7/5/2019       GRADE: B