When Yvonne Strahovski can’t save a horror movie, you’re in trouble. Netflix has been pumping out the hits lately, but this was not one of them. This is not one of the scariest movies on Netflix for 2018 or any year for that matter.
I really want to clear something up though and that is the masked man’s backstory. I keep reading he doesn’t have one. He does and, I’ll tell you what it is. His back story, however, is not what makes this film less palatable.
Scariest movies on Netflix 2018? He’s Out There Spoiler Review
He’s Out There is a debut feature for the writer and director Quinn Lasher. The funny thing is, no one has ever heard of the guy. I read a theory about this being an example of an Alan Smithee.
What’s that you ask?
Well, an Alan Smithee is the term directors throw out to turn their back on a film. They use it as a pseudonym because they don’t want to put their real name to it.
Why would they do that?
Under an Alan Smithee, it means there was discord amongst the production players and because the director was unhappy with the way things were edited/recut or done against their wishes. It’s at times like this they pull an Alan Smithee.
To have this name applied though, they have to go through the process of applications to the guild. There are a couple of rules and it has to be pretty cut and dry that the film was literally yanked from the director’s arms and afforded some sort of messy outcome.
Who Was the Director Appointed Originally?
Dennis Iliadis was originally locked in for this one along with distributors Screen Gems who changed their role to production. Dennis is known for films like Last House on the Left (2009) and, Hardcore (2004.)
What Happened to this Film?
I’ll tell you what, firstly if I rolled my eyes any more times they would’ve fallen out of my head. This film is so frustrating I’ve already had numerous conversations with a plethora of people. Everyone agrees, this movie sucks. It has all the ingredients to pull off a nice easy home intruder horror. Instead, it wastes its leading lady Yvonne Strahovski starring as Laura and simply effs it all up.
Laura and her family like heading off for some chill-time every year. They go to a picturesque lake house in the middle of nowhere. Kayla and Maddie are the family’s 2.5 children and her husband gets delayed for the intended departure time. Never mind, Laura’s got it covered and off they go without him. He’ll catch up with them later.
Scariest Movies on Netflix 2018?
When Laura and the kids finally arrive, the gate lock is jammed and a ‘creepy’ guy appears proclaiming to be ‘local security/neighbor.’ Almost immediately the intention is for him to be considered to be the ‘masked man’ because he has the audacity to speak to the kids. He randomly starts talking about the family that used to live in the very same lake house and that their child went missing, never to be seen again. As Laura and her kids drive through the gate, the camera zooms in on the words ‘John’ scratched into a fence post.
Nothing in the films opening scenes alerted me to the extreme awfulness of the complete movie. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly I began to lose faith in the narrative.
Rather than point out, it’s many low points like two small children screaming for long periods of time, let’s talk about parenting fails.
Firstly, the kids wander off for a reasonably long time upon arrival. Laura seems to check on them intermittently before they disappear. Either this was just an excuse to put the beautifully toned Yvonne in a bra and panties or she isn’t really up to speed with the term ‘when the kids are quiet, you know they’re up to something.’
“It’s Not Dead and It Smells Nice”
When they appear back at the house, hushed and secretive, she doesn’t push the topic of what Kayla hid in the drawer. She is quite content that her explanation of the mystery item is ‘not dead’ and ‘smells nice’ is quite ok. Laura doesn’t even take a sneak peek to see what her child might have brought back from outside.
Later when the other kid is sweaty and sick and doesn’t eat pizza and can’t even make it through the evening story— it’s not wine time. It’s not wine time Laura. It’s— grab the thermometer and take the temperature-time Laura. One doesn’t simply pull the covers off at bedtime to ease the obvious sweating, give a quick kiss and run downstairs to quaff liquor from a tin coffee cup and smoke a ciggy. No, no, no.
While the barely older sister is concerned enough to ask how her sick and miserable looking sister is, mom is crashed in bed. My kids share a room too. Not once has my eldest child ever been required to wake me up and tell me my younger child was really unwell.
Daddy Finally Arrives
When daddy finally arrives way past his 11 pm expected time frame ready for a quick roll in the hay with relax-o-mom, he spies a spooky note stuck to the gate. Tired, long drive, big day at work he concludes mommy and his two small children are pranking him— at midnight. The same two small children who eat weird gel-filled forest muffins but whatever. He decides to follow a creepy red sting into the dark forest. I can definitely buy two young girls following some string into the
Maybe mommy’s a teetotaller from way back, I dunno. Maybe she pranked daddy all the time back home. Some examples would have been nice but all you need to know about her is she’s not very good at hiding. She’s also pretty crap at hearing someone take a car apart right outside but that’s because she was probably drunk. She’s also bad at remembering her mobile phone in the middle of nowhere. Another parenting-fail, I might add.
Does John Have a Backstory?
I feel safe in letting this one out of the bag because this is a spoiler review. John is the kid who went missing. The one the creepy neighbor told them about when they arrived. He tells a story sporadically through voice-over during the end quarter of the film. Whether he was living in the walls, under the house or under the front stairs, I don’t know for sure. I could even hazard a guess that he may have passed some time living in the rafters because he was pretty comfortable dropping a very heavy body from up there before he got beaten in a hand-to-hand fight by a woman.
‘He’s Out There’ Starts Well
Whatever the case, John loved the story Laura reads the kids and considers himself the answer to the riddle from it. At the beginning of the movie, John is said to be simple-minded. Maybe that’s true but he alludes to always getting the answer to the book’s riddle wrong while the kids are under the bed, not screaming for a second. This guy in a mask was creating a story and John is the shadow. He has always been there watching them just as a shadow would. When the story is over, he will start a new one. John has carved out his makeshift family ready to go. He starts with daddy and you see his cut-off arms plonked into the arm-holes and his eyes into the eye holes.
But John is a rookie. Just because you shove an ax into someone and lock them in a car boot, doesn’t mean they’re finished. And just because you chloroform two young children, even when one’s supposed to be half dead, doesn’t mean they can’t assist in a smart get-away. Did I mention Maddie is the neatest vomiter I have ever seen? I mean, come on.
This is John, Don’t Be Like John
Lucky for John, Laura’s a rookie too and when the kids look back in their escape vehicle John’s body is gone. He can start a new story with a new family after all.
Isn’t that nice?