Review: Static

Directed by Todd Levin

StaticSecond Sight, out now

Schizophrenic eerie home invasion hybrid.

You have to give this low budget chiller marks for looking good. It’s wonderfully shot, with excellent cinematography and camerawork. What a pity, then, that it’s let down by a wafer-thin plot that doesn’t really seem to know what it wants to be. Part home invasion movie in the mould of The Strangers – to my mind one of the best examples of this ever made – part unsettlingly weird and possibly supernatural yarn, half the time it’s not so much Static as chasing its tail in frustration.

Writer Jonathan Dale (Heroes and Rocky Balboa’s Milo Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Sarah Shahi, from Life and Chicago Fire) seek the solace of their home out in the middle of nowhere after their three year old son tragically dies. There, Jonathan throws himself into his work and Addie throws back meds, washed down with large glasses of red wine.

Then, in the middle of the night, a terrified Rachel (The Innkeepers’ Sara Paxton) knocks on their door, claiming that she’s being hunted by strange figures wearing gas masks (think Doctor Who’s ‘The Empty Child’ and you won’t be far off). While Jonathan goes out to investigate, Rachel lets slip that she knows a little more than she should do about them and their situation. Is she just an obsessed fan of Jonathan’s, or more than meets the eye?

It’s just the start of a nerve-jangling night for the couple, who find themselves trying to ward off the group themselves now, fighting and running for their very lives. But what’s really going on, and how can they possibly put an end to it?

To be fair, the twist – when it comes at the end – is pretty clever. But you’ll probably have guessed it miles before you get there, not least because it’s telegraphed massively near the start of the movie. And the actors – including a cameo from Tom Cruise’s cousin, William Mapother – turn in great performances, considering what they have to work with. It’s just that everything seems so padded out; endless shots of the couple creeping through their house, hearing strange noises, interspersed only occasionally with the odd moment of frantic dashing about or attacks from the gas mask people. The characters also suffer greatly from that old horror staple of being incredibly stupid – like thinking thin, slatted doors will keep out their enemies when they lock them, or leaving their only gun somewhere they can’t get to it. Doh!

It’s not the worst movie of its kind, and it is at least attempting to do something different with the sub-genre, but probably won’t move you in any way.

Verdict: Static electricity? Hardly 6/10

Paul Kane

Click here to order Static from Amazon.co.uk

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