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  1. Published on: 06/04/2018 11:24 AMReported by: Film Critic
    While horror is a genre I don't find as much success in, if it has a great concept, that I am up for checking it out. This latest one has a particular idea that seemed to have the potential to have strong crowd participation, in order to get a highly memorable experience.

    The screening I was in was pretty full and it was during peak time showings. So I was nervous, there would be some idiots not caring for the experience.

    Thankfully, I was proved wrong and it ended up being a thoroughly enjoyable time.

    I love it when the concept is super simple and the people making it can have fun and play around with it in certain set-pieces. It has a really nice start introducing you not only to the world and the people, but the tone that the film is expecting you to respect and invest in.

    Once the situation are characters are facing begins to take shape, it is nothing but one of the tensest thrill-rides you can imagine. The stakes gradually get higher and higher and we have a fun finale that also manages to make every character a fully-fledged one.

    I was seeing similarities with 10 Cloverfield Lane, Tremors, War Of The Worlds, Signs and even Mars Attacks for one very big reason that I won't spoil.

    Speaking of the cast, it is quite a small one due to the concept. However, they are all brilliant. Emily Blunt does a great job in the leading role, and gave many memorable moments during the big set-pieces. Ever since her breakthrough in 2006 in The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt has created quite a strong back catalogue and this is another welcomed addition.

    It was great seeing John Krasinski double up with the acting as well as directing. He gave us a wonderful sympathetic character that shined at the right times during the tense and emotional moments.

    Even with these two strong performances, the star for me was Millicent Simmonds. This film was made for her. Ever since I first saw her last year in Wonderstruck, I saw great potential in her and she could be the pioneer for deaf actors everywhere.

    Simmonds has a great screen presence and contributed well to the stories environment.

    I love it that this film was character driven, rather than being a generic monster horror. The strong development they all have makes this an exceptional creation.

    Also, due to its concept, there is very little dialogue. So it is primarily consisting of visual story-telling, which for me is the purest form of showing a story on film. It is the universal language, which is what made silent films so broadly appealing.

    Something else that is development related, is that there were many great character decisions, that you almost hardly ever see in a horror. A big horror trope is characters making poor or stupid decisions just for the sake of the writers giving us a fun on-screen moment. This film manages to do the complete opposite and get quite possibly much stronger results.

    There is not much to speak of from the technical side. It it shot really well and it has a strong sound design that perfectly adds to the tension.

    Sadly, I did have some very minor problems with it. It was a combination of one particular sub-plot that was only mentioned once and was completely ignored, and a couple of moments that seemed to contradict its own rules. It also does on a few occasions use some generic horror tropes. I was fine with that, but also a tad disappointed that I felt that they had to do that. But like I said, it is only minor and it never detracted my overall enjoyment of this feature.

    So I can quite safely say that I had a great time with this. It's a simple yet intriguing premise with so many entertaining results. The performances are great, worth your time ad have strong development.

    The pacing is spot on at a snappy 90 minute duration, and is tense from the very first minute.

    It's great that film almost forces you to be quiet. If it works, especially in a full screening, this could be quite a surreal experience for many people.

    Isn't it great that a film can still amaze you at how something so simple of an idea that never over-explains itself can lead too such a great viewing experience? It just shows you that less really is more.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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