Netflix seems to have cornered the market on teen slashers with the recent Fear Street trilogy, and now There’s Someone Inside Your House, both based on popular books. There’s Someone Inside Your House is adapted from the book of the same name by Stephanie Perkins. The new flick is a humorous and somewhat self-aware slasher with a vicious streak, resulting in a few surprisingly bloody and inventive kills.
Set in small-town Nebraska, There’s Someone Inside Your House centers around Makani Young (Sydney Park), a newcomer who relocated to escape a dark secret from her past in the hopes of starting fresh. She now lives with her grandmother in a spacious farmhouse and has adapted well to her new circumstance.
Among her new friends are the artsy Alex (Asjha Coope), NASA hopeful and non-binary (she/he/they) student Darby (Jesse LaTourette), troubled pill addict Rodrigo (Diego Josef), gay footballer Caleb (Burkely Duffield), bad boy outcast Ollie (Théodore Pellerin) and Zachariah (Dale Whibley), son of the town’s biggest (and most-hated) industry tycoon.
Their lives are brutally upended when a killer begins terrorizing the local population. Most sinister of all, the killer appears wielding a giant knife and wearing a mask of his next victim’s face. It’s the mask thing that really sets this movie apart.
There’s Someone Inside Your House starts strong and then fizzles in the second half
But unfortunately, There’s Someone Inside Your House has a lot of interesting characters, secrets, and even a unique killer that are never fully explored. I started to feel like this story might have worked better as a television series (or at least, a longer runtime since, minus credits, this one only runs about 85 minutes) despite being based on a single novel.
Still, the first half of the movie works better than the second half. All three of the first significant murders in the film are standout moments. Each one utilizes popular slasher tropes and plays with them in a way that makes the actual kill shocking, especially one that happens during a party scene. And I want to highlight this movie’s production design. Despite being filmed in Vancouver, Canada, they nailed the midwestern vibe, and it looks fantastic.
One highlight is the film’s good-natured humor and almost satirical tone with its subversion of classic slasher tropes. But don’t expect a Scream level of meta-humor, There’s Someone Inside Your House does its own thing, which ultimately works in its favor. Still, it’s enough to let you know the writers and directors have definitely seen their fair share of slasher flicks and understand what audiences anticipate enough to subvert their expectations. Director Patrick Brice is also the man behind the excellent Creep and Creep 2, which tells you a little about his pedigree.
After the halfway mark, things start to fizzle and lead to a climax that doesn’t feel…all that climactic (especially because the killer’s motives are murky at best). There is a lack of suspense in the film that ends up detracting from the scares.
It’s hard not to compare this movie to Fear Street, which is another teen slasher that came out recently on Netflix, because even though Fear Street had three movies to tell its story, even the first feature, Fear Street: 1994, did a better job at establishing the characters, a compelling horror story, and crazy kills in a compact 90-minute runtime than There’s Someone Inside Your House manages in a similar runtime. Several subplots in this film ended abruptly or were never explored fully, especially regarding Makani’s grandmother.
The bottom line is that There’s Someone Inside Your House is an entertaining, worthwhile teen slasher that shakes up the genre and makes for perfect Halloween viewing, even if it ends up being a bit forgettable by the end.
There’s Someone Inside Your House will start streaming on Netflix starting on October 6.