The movie There’s Someone in Your House by Patrick Brice is very interested in masks. The script has a more than convenient interest so it is hidden under the ordinary. Stereotypes, secrets and little lies crisscrossed in the plot. So that the murderer who hides his face he is obsessed with the concept.
Armed with clever 3D printed creations, the killer is looking for his face and also wants to reveal truths. The film tries to bring the notion of violence to the contemporary and intertwines it with identity. If in the 1980s, murderers killed with redemptive fury against sex outside of marriage: Why do they kill now?
It seems like a complex question for a regular slasher. In fact, this adaptation of Stephanie Perkins’ bookstore hit of the same name has its own mask to wear. Because despite its intentions and the apparent discourse about the individual, the Netflix movie cannot find how to narrate something similar.
What causes the murderer to attack? What hidden circumstances awaken his thirst for blood? If in the book, the question had an obvious answer, on Netflix not everything is so easy. It takes a real effort for the director to amalgamate an idea about murderous rage and cultural hypocrisy without appearing lecturer.
However, rather than creating something where the gory setting relies on its characters, it’s actually more of a random version of the killer instinct. The monster behind the mask consumes secrets. But there is someone in your house does not clarify which ones or how important they can be, now that he needs to show them. The basic fact lies in what do you want to kill which would be very valid if the movie didn’t emphasize that it does it for a reason.
But without the script being able to clearly show what drives it, Someone in your house loses steam too soon. Especially with how much the premise strives in the fact of what is not said, the awkward silences or even the fact of what it is to be a teenager.
Clichés abound and in the end, this great box of mysteries with a brutal masked assassin in tow doesn’t deliver what it promises. Or what in any case seems to promise. The murderer kills, his victims flee. And in the midst of the predictable premise, the big question is: what is happening in the background? Is there really a mask that hides something more mysterious than we can imagine?
Youthful fear and its little pains
As it has become customary in the most recent horror productions, there is a lot of Stephen King in There is someone in your house. Especially in the way of recreating the feeling that small towns are actually twisted hells riddled with darkness. The resource might work well in a slasher with a killer eager for revelations, but the script is more interested in going in another direction.
The small Kansas town where the action takes place is no different than any other. And if King’s influence on the unhealthy atmosphere that is hidden in mysterious little places is obvious, it is not so effective. In reality, the town could be a city and the context would be the same.
The movie wastes a lot of time in making it clear that there are things hidden behind the clean facades of the houses. But it does not reveal what is hidden. The unresolved tension ends up falling into the boredom of self-indulgent dialogues or a forced version of the motley high school. But beyond that, There is someone in your house is a complex line that points in different directions. And not all of them are actually revealed, solved, or sustained.
One of the lowest points in the movie occurs when the murders finally start to happen and the entire atmosphere falls under its own weight. Isn’t this a killer with a story behind him? One who also has a perverse interest that his victims are also guilty of something else? A premise of this magnitude could be solved in a simpler way. But there is someone in your house choosing the path to a basic idea. Death is the worst and most twisted of all masks.
‘Is there someone in your house’ and the unspoken sermon
Of course, in the end there is someone in your house is a teenage slasher. One twisted, strange, violent and that meets the basic expectations of the genre.
But the big question is why the director is so little interested in going deeper, creating or building something more elaborate. Or at least, use all the tracks you link into something more comprehensive and consistent. From privileges to the search for identity,Someone in your house could have turned the slasher into a kinky revenge.
But in the end, it’s just a killer Netflix movie. One that emphasizes as much as it can and as many times as it can that “there are secrets that kill.” Actually, in There is someone in your house, anything can lead to death. And that is its worst and most tedious flaw.