A chess game of suspense involving a deaf girl and a serial killer locked outside her home in the woods.
It sounds like a cliche with a twist, and it is, but it’s a really good cliche with a twist.
For a start the premise that the lead character Maddie, the deaf writer, who is home alone after a relationship break up, opens up a box of plot twists and devices that are unfamiliar in their familiarity.
Second, Maddie, (Kate Siegel) dominates the movie, even though it’s essentially a double hander, with a superbly sympathetic performance that never gets you shouting “don’t do that”, as is common in this genre.
The tension does not let up from start to finish (and it’s only 82 minutes so doesn’t outstay its welcome) as the masked invader tries to outwit Maddie and vice versa.
The temptation might have been to take Maddie’s disability and, like with Audrey Hepburn’s blindness in Wait Until Dark, use it to her advantage somehow; but that does not transpire. It’s actually her skills as a writer (she is completing her latest crime novel when the would be assassin strikes) that gives her some traction in what should be a one-sided battle.
This is an intelligent, well paced and well shot, low budget slasher movie, but on a higher plane.