It’s October, spooky season, meaning that all your favorite streaming services have a host of gory and scary movies and shows for you to check out. While some I can heartily recommend (Netflix’s Midnight Mass), others I feel the need to caution you to stay away from. And one would be Netflix’s new horror movie, the slasher homage There’s Someone Inside Your House.
The movie has echoes of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, but fails to make a meaningful impression, and makes a weak attempt at some sort of social commentary with its ending that falls flat.
The victims here are high schoolers, ones with “secrets” that the killer discovers and broadcasts shortly before killing them. Killing them while wearing a 3D printed mask of their own face, which I will admit is kind of eerily cool, and a pretty decent hook for a killer.
A jock is killed after photos are posted of him hazing a gay football teammate. The student body president is killed after a racist podcast she recorded and uploaded anonymously is shared. The deaths are brutal, I’ll say that, but what the movie tries to do with its “guess who the killer is” game is just obnoxious.
To talk more about what the movie gets wrong, we have to get into spoiler territory here.
The entire time, the movie is pressing hard on the idea that local school loner and “sociopath” Ollie, is the killer. He’s weird, his parents died, and a big “secret” is that the main character, Makani, had a secret fling with him that no one knows about.
But it’s such a Red Herring that the film might as well literally be screaming “this is a Red Herring!” at you throughout the movie. There are really no other suspects that make sense except Zach, a member of the central friend group, a blond white kid in conflict with his rich father who owns a collection of Nazi memorabilia. It’s him, it’s clearly him.
For a little while, the movie does something somewhat interesting with Zach, as at first it seems like they’re trying to actually go against the trope of the spoiled rich kid, as he hangs out with the unpopular group, and tries to distance himself from his wealth and rich father. You don’t really see that often.
And yet, when he’s revealed as the killer, all of that flies out the window, and he goes on a rant about how it’s not his fault he has privilege and other incoherent talking points that seem at odds with everything he was saying before this. It just seems too on the nose for a rich spoiled white kid to be hunting down classmates with a Nazi SS sword.
I don’t dislike this because it goes against my politics. I am…extremely liberal. I just hate when political messages are jammed like this into movies so ham-fistedly that they negate the whole purpose of the points they’re trying to make. Politics absolutely has a place in horror films, Get Out being perhaps the most recent example, but we are miles and miles away from that here. This is just…very dumb and obvious.
I wouldn’t watch this. Go back and rewatch Scream or something instead, or a better modern slasher film like You’re Next. Leave this one in the queue.