Conveniently, I went into these two films not knowing what to expect from either, and came out the other side discovering they both shared a basic “home invasion” premise that takes a surprising turn before the closing credits role.
Static is one of those movies that is so good in some aspects—namely the constant suspense, scares, and wickedly clever twist at the end—that it was rather frustrating to me that there a couple of fatal flaws.
First, the film makes the biggest mistake pretty much any movie that pulls this stunt makes: showing the ending as the opener. Because of a super brief shot at the beginning that is eventually a part of the last moments of the film, I guessed a major plot point of the big reveal from the start. Seriously, it’s almost never a good idea to start your movie with the end.
The movie is about a writer (hottie Milo Ventimiglia) and his wife moving to a house in a rural area as they’re coping with the death of their young son.
Milo got back.
Milo got front.
In the middle of the night, a young woman (Sara Paxton of The Last House on the Left remake and The Innkeepers) knocks on the door, claiming there are some scary dudes with gas masks out there. So…they let her in.
It’s impossible not to compare the film to The Strangers, but it is the twist after all the cat and mouse that makes it deliciously unique, and it has everything to do with whose perspective the film is actually seen from.
However, this is where a second flaw comes in that totally detracts from the surprise ending. There are details of the problematic circumstances of the couple’s relationship that are hinted at but in the end are irrelevant to the twist and don’t even get explained or clarified, leaving us with all these unanswered questions that probably didn’t need to be asked in the first place.
HOUSE OF THE WITCH DOCTOR (2013)
The title of this film seems very odd for a majority of its running time, as it’s about two worlds colliding in a rather vicious home invasion situation.
A young woman grieving from the death of her fiancé a year ago is going to her parents’ secluded home with her friends for the weekend. Her parents happen to be Bill Moseley and Leslie Easterbrook, making for a mini The Devil’s Rejects reunion, but they don’t stay long.
They go away for the weekend, leaving the kids to party…and have sex.
At least the hot dude and the horny chick, who reminds me of Katharine Isabelle. The other couple with them is a pair of good, judgmental Christians.
Meanwhile, a dude just out of prison (hottie Allan Kayser, aka: Bubba of Mama’s Family) is fed up with his holy rolling mother, so he takes off with his sleazy druggy buddy to wreak havoc. Needless to say, that havoc eventually heads home…the home of the kids that is.
This is a surprisingly nasty little film, mostly because it shows multiple rape scenes to balance out the multiple religious freaks. However, before the home invasion begins, there is one eerily effective scene in which the horny couple tries to open a door that is off limits that suggests something more horror sinister than just violence and rape is up.
That bizarr-o twist doesn’t hit until the final act, but it definitely makes this one of the most incredibly trippy films I’ve seen in a while.
A twist and a surprisingly campy horror shift in tone that delivers gore and causes even the awful bad guys to become oddly humorous at times.