In the latest thriller from M Night Shyamalan, Dave Bautista puts in a great shift as the leader of a group of armed invaders who tell a family that one of them must die in order to prevent an apocalypse.
M Night Shyamalan has had quite a chequered career, oscillating wildly from the very good to the - well, not so good. But he's definitely back in form as this the second film in a row that’s hit the spot.
Last time, Old was great fun as a group of few people aged rapidly on a beach. This time around, the setting’s much more claustrophobic.
A gay couple, Eric and Andrew (played by Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge), are holidaying at a remote cabin with their young daughter Wen, played by the very impressive Kristen Cui.
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At the start of the film, Wen is approached by a mysterious stranger named Leonard. Initially charming, if rather nosey, Leonard explains that he needs Wen and her parents' help to save the world.
When three other people turn up with makeshift weapons. Wen rushes to warn her parents, but the visitors break into the cabin and tie them up before explaining why they’re there.
The four invaders - Leonard, Sabrina, Adriane, and Redmond - claim to have never met before that day and have no intention of harming the family, though there’s a rather large 'but’ on the way.
During the last week, the four have been compelled by visions and an unknown power to find the family and avert an impending apocalypse.
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This can only be averted if the family kills one of their own as a sacrifice.
Naturally, Eric and Andrew think that the invaders are bonkers. Then things get really freaky.
It’s a riveting watch as the tension rises, with Dave Bautista putting in a hell of a shift as Leonard, an odd and alluring mix of vulnerability and demented menace.
Most of the film takes place in the cabin, which adds an extra layer of stress to proceedings. And it rattles along for a lean 100 minutes. Such brevity is rare in modern movies, and must be admired.