Movie #15 of the 2019 31-days of horror challenge.
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There is a serial killer in town who captures teenage girls. When Riley Lawson goes missing, the family hopes for the best. Inept FBI agent Hotchkiss is there to provoke fear and anxiety at every turn as the family tries to find clues as to who took Riley and how to save her.
This is a fun, brutal, indie horror-comedy. What I find particularly interesting about this film is that by the end of the movie the audience really doesn’t know who’s worse: the kidnapper, Otis? his older brother? Agent Hotchkiss? or Riley’s family? They’re all dicks.
The serial killer, Otis (Bostin Christopher), has an interesting and well-thought-out lair. The torture-like devices he uses to control his victims are simple but creative (a wall of light bulbs protected by a bare wire box spring). The scenario he is trying to create is straightforward and clearly never going to be perfect. The filmmakers do a great job of showing where this behavior came from.
Riley’s (Tarah Paige) family is frankly a little unexpected. They’re all eccentric in their own ways and not quite right in the head. Mom (Illeana Douglas) is a nurse whose skill and strength, if her lack of good judgment, comes into play as things spiral out of control. Dad (Daniel Stern) certainly isn’t the head of the family and easily manipulated by pretty much everyone. Brother, Reed (Jared Kusnitz), is a juvenile delinquent. Riley herself, is a strong, clever character, consistent throughout the story. Agent Hotchkiss (Jere Burns) is a one-dimensional prick.