He’s Out There

A pretty middle of the road horror film that has a few chilling moments but never dives deeper than the surface of its premise.

A woman brings her two young daughters to the family’s secluded lake house for the weekend. Dad stays behind for work. Once there, the women are tormented by a menacing force in the woods.

The good, the lead actress is very good. She delivers a strong performance and creates a genuine and authentic relationship with the girls playing her daughters. The film has some wonderful ambience. From the second they get to the lake house, it just feels tense and full of dread. The most effective moments of the film come early when one little girl is sick. It is truly scary and works wonderfully.

The bad, the movie pretty much follows the formula throughout the rest of the runtime. The bad man is in the woods. He torments them. They try to escape. He thwarts them. Others show up to help only to get axed or hacked or slashed or chopped. The film seems to mistake grisly violence and blood for real fear. He gets inside, and the girls fights back. But they are defeated constantly. It’s only through an unbelievable recovery toward the end that the girls are finally able to gain a little ground. Otherwise they’re just getting beaten down throughout the film.

This one is pretty mixed. Some things work great, others don’t. The plot is a classic, but the actual story felt thin. Putting this mother and her family through this is kind of horror works if it serves a story and a narrative purpose. The purpose here just felt like it wasn’t enough. The stuff that worked, worked really well. The stuff that didn’t work, didn’t entirely ruin the experience, but it did diminished what could have been.

It’s kind of my cup of tea. It’s a half cup of tea anyway. – C+

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