Based on best-selling novelist Stephanie Perkins’ novel of the same name, There’s Someone Inside Your House arrives on Netflix with a lot of hype. So far in 2021, Netflix has already scored with one horror series, after debuting RL Stine’s Fear Street movies in three back-to-back-to-back weeks this summer. And there’s always a market for a clever update on the slasher subgenre. With what sounds like an interesting twist on the formula and a strong Gen Z cast, There’s Someone Inside Your House has plenty of potential. So are early negative reviews an anomaly? Or has Netflix gambled
When a masked killer murders a star high school football player, a panic ignites across the small town of Osborne, Nebraska. More victims amongst the high school’s graduating class quickly follow. And the killer seems intent on exposing their victims’ darkest secrets. New student, Makani Young, has a secret she’s desperate to hide from her friends. But when the killer targets her next she may be lucky just to make it out alive.
There’s Someone Inside Your House Has the Kills, But Lacks Real Scares
Things start off quite promisingly for There’s Someone Inside Your House. Like Wes Craven’s Scream, director Patrick Brice (Creep) kicks off his neo-slasher with a killer opening sequence. While there’s clearly some homage going on, Brice teases yet another timely update on slasher tropes. Some of that promise finds it way into what follows. Craven’s slasher revival wasn’t a particularly gory movie. It certainly didn’t rival some of the 80s more brutal entries. But Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy boasted some gruesome deaths. Similarly, There’s Someone Inside Your House delivers a handful of shocking, bloody deaths. Moreover, Brice aptly films his carnage finding a few innovative ways to keep audiences on their toes.
Yet there’s almost a complete lack of scares, suspense, or tension here.
Unfortunately, There’s Someone Inside Your House doesn’t have too much else to offer. Given his work on the Creep movies, one would have assumed that Brice could easily generate some tension. Yet there’s almost complete lack of scares, suspense, or tension here. Impressive death scenes are interspersed in a movie where it feels like not much else happens. Yes, the production values are excellent for this type of movie. Everything looks good. Nonetheless, there’s far too many stretches of what feels like dead air. It doesn’t help that several gaping plot holes abound in There’s Someone Inside Your House. This is a movie where the killer pulls off feats that make little sense. And Brice gives audiences too much time to think about it.
There’s Someone Inside The House Wastes Strong Cast On an Misguided Story
A big part of There’s Someone Inside The House’s problem is Henry Gayden’s adaption of Perkins’ novel. On one hand, there’s an excellent cast here playing some likeable characters. Sydney Park, playing the film’s lead Makani Young, and her cast of high school outcasts are compelling protagonists. It’s a diverse cast that genuinely feels like kids you’d find in a high school In addition, the bond between the main characters adds a bit of stakes to the movie and who survives and who does not. But the characters are stuck in a story that’s not only implausible but incredibly convoluted. Outside of the main characters, the supporting case is unremarkable.
To say the killer’s reveal was disappointing would also be an understatement.
One of the biggest weaknesses of this neo-slasher is its killer. Slasher movies need a distinct-looking villain with a fun twist on the modus operandi. On the surface, There’s Someone Inside The House teases an interesting play on a familiar trope with a killer exposing teens’ secrets. In a social media world obsessed with ‘influencers’, ‘likes’, and superficial image, it’s a wrinkle to the formula that should have had some bite. Instead, our characters’ secrets feel like generic teen drama. Though Brice throws some red herrings at the screen they feel fairly obvious and underdeveloped. To say the killer’s reveal was disappointing would also be an understatement. And the less said about the killer’s motives, the better. It speaks to a larger problem of narrative cohesion. Even the movie’s title feels unfulfilled.
There’s Someone Inside Your House Doesn’t Live Up To The Hype
For There’s Someone Inside Your House, sadly, the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts. In spite of some gruesome death scenes and excellent performances, Brice’s neo-slasher is a surprisingly flat effort. Long stretches of the movie are dull. Its killer – both in design and reveal – is underwhelming. And the slasher’s story is too convoluted. Too many plot holes riddle the movie, even for a subgenre where logic is a secondary consideration. Clearly, Netflix big hopes for There’s Someone Inside Your House, with it’s Halloween season release. But there’s no Fear Street franchise here.