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Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg

Directed by Adam Wingard
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2.5
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
August 23, 2013

Home invasion thrillers seem to come along every five minutes. Didn't we just cower before The Purge? Kudos then to indie director Adam Wingard for kicking in with some fresh ideas. The set-up is still from the horror starter kit: a plush-living Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton) are about to celebrate 35 years of wedded compromise with their four adult children in – wait for it – an isolated country house. Crispian (AJ Bowen) is a jerk with a cool Aussie date named Erin (Sharni Vinson). Brother Drake (indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg) takes jerkiness to the next level with a lover, Kelly (Margaret Laney), who almost tops him. Kid brother Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn) bitch about everything. Daughter Aimee (Amy Seimetz) is a daddy's girl with a lover (Ti West) who rivals her brothers for the most-annoying prize. You probably won't care who gets mutilated or killed because nearly everyone does by – wait for it – intruders in masks. The surprise is how effective Wingard is at keeping the atmosphere jumpy and tense. And you can't help rooting for Erin, who could win Survivor if she went on the show. Vinson's take-charge performance is the life of this badass party. When you're ducking in your seat, it's nice to have someone to root for.

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