LeonDeon’s review published on Letterboxd:
Man, this is some of the worst horror filmmaking I’ve seen this year. It’s kind of amazing that this was made by the director of Always Shine, which was one of my favorites of 2016. That film was so deliberate and had a voice of someone confident with their story. This film feels like it was phoned in because man someone did not come to work for this one. I just wanted a film that was fun or at the very least entertaining which this film has nothing like that in its DNA. I watched the trailer worrying about the film but I tried to put it aside for the sake of trying to be fair with the film but it really was a warning sign telling you stay as far away as possible.
Where does one even start with something like this? I guess I could start with that the film isn’t good plain and simple. Nothing works. I mean this is like trying to put a bike together with car parts. It makes no sense doesn't work and makes you wonder why this was even the situation. So was it the producers coming in and telling Sophia Takal that this needs to be toned down and less “unique”. This was written by her and April Wolfe and on IMDb it says that she wrote it while Takal has some credit to it. This film’s written word is so messy and constantly puts its own foot in its mouth. The characters are non entities whose dire situation causes no reaction for the audience to care for - you have to make something for people to care about because otherwise why make it? Yes, a general statement, but it seems to work fine enough as this film has been completely demolished in the box office and critically. That’s probably do to how the film handles its politics.
Eventually, I would have to mention the politics of the film since it cannot go without talking about it. If it wants to be talked about, then I might as well indulge the filmmakers on this. It’s got a somewhat good heart, but it’s the worst execution possible. These characters can’t talk like normal people. It feels like they writers spent some time on a twitter thread and looked at what the people were saying, condensed that down, and tried to make lines that would make the audience think about how they interact with the opposite gender. It would be that or maybe make college kids think about what they say on campus. There’s not an eloquent way of saying it, but this way of jamming the politics down the throat does not work. I like that they tried but man this is just not the way to do it because it feels like it is trying to shame you into this mindset or to make you feel bad because you don’t agree. It doesn’t have the foresight to be open about it or allow for other ideas to perspire inside it. Anytime someone tries to give an opposing viewpoint it’s constantly shut down or is phrased in a way that makes the person look and sound like the worst person in the room. All of it is mindless and doesn’t work plain and simple does not work.
The story itself is also a broken down a mess of waiting and waiting for something to happen. This is not a film where boredom is trying to be poetic or give you something to think about when it’s taking place. It is trying to be a film where you’re supposed to have fun with the sets and story, but how the story is handled makes it seem like the progression died about halfway through and they had to hard reset. The movie just flat out ends and has no completed tangibility. It’s stupid in fact. Characters make stupid decisions and the villains of the story are who you can guess from a million miles away and it’s not trying to pull a red herring or at least when it is it’s not even trying to do something clever. Like what happened because I know that the director is capable of more than this because this is one of the biggest let downs from someone’s work who I loved. There’s a scene where the characters talk to the professor about a woman’s place in the world and it’s so mind numbingly shallow it creates a void in the mind where I was in another world.
Maybe next time, I guess.