First Hit: A fairly good horror thriller that had me jumping in my seat a couple of times.
I’m not a big horror fan, but going to this film with my daughter, who loves horror films, was fun. My first jump in my seat happened when a dog jumped up to a window of a car, the second is when a man came through a door. There are a number of car and door type sequences, so I’m not giving anything away here.
The story is about three people; a young mother named Rocky (Jane Levy) who is living a repressed life with her mother and daughter, a nice thoughtful young man named Alex (Dylan Minnette) who cares about Rocky, and a sleazy boyfriend of Rocky’s named Money (Daniel Zovatto). Together they break into houses taking no cash, but gathering and taking as many valuables as they can to fence for cash. Tired of not making much from their efforts and Rocky promising her daughter they’ll move to California; they decide to rob a blind man (Steven Lang) who won a large financial judgement when his daughter was killed by another motorist.
Because he lives in an deserted neighborhood, they believe that robbing blind man will be easy pickings. However, they discover differently. Much of the film is shot in darkened rooms, but there’s enough light to ensure the audience sees all they need to see. The blind man is very adept at creating fear and seems to have multiple lives because just when you think he's out of the picture, he shows up again. The script is clean, simple and not overly complicated. The director got everyone to buy into the script and each played their part well. It had suspense and moments of tension which was the purpose of this story.
Levy was strong as the woman who had lived a hard life and wanted something better for her daughter. She expressed the right amount of fear and courage. Minnette was sufficiently kind and driven to participate in robberies to be close to and help Rocky. Zovatto was OK as an uneducated thief who was brutish towards Rocky and domineering towards Alex. Lang was very good as the blind old man. His unshaven face and blind eyes were intimidating. Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues wrote a strong script which director Alvarez did a great job of getting tense suspense from the actors and scenes.
Overall: This was one of the better horror films made in the last few years.