She brainwashed her kids minds and allowed them to grow up in something of a distorted reality…Now they’ve failed in a bank robbery and need mommy’s help!
Three boys, one of whom has been shot, go to their mothers house after a bank robbery gone bad, only to find that the house no longer belongs to their mother. Desperate, they hold the new owners and their guests hostage as they wait for their mother to arrive. One of the guests is a doctor, who aids the brother who had been shot. When mother, Natalie Koffin (Rebecca De Mornay) arrives, she is displeased, but happy to see her children at the same time. With the revelation that her boys had been sending her money to the house that was no longer hers, she seeks some answers from the new house owners.
It’s a “classic mistake” film, meaning the main characters made a mistake that led to the rest of the events unfolding. At the same time, it’s a very easy to make mistake, and therefor I don’t question the reality of it. At no point in the film did I think “this doesn’t seem real”. In fact, a coupe of scenes had me tensing up.
Somehow I’ve found myself captivated by this unsurprising plot that lacks true creativity. Perhaps its the realism I’ve mentioned. Perhaps it’s the psychological abnormalities associated with the Koffin family. Or perhaps it’s the squirming hostages who have no idea what will happen next. We’re getting there…For me, it’s all of these things, but even more, I found the fact that these friends being held hostage were turning against each other in a time of terror and fear, very entertaining. Though this isn’t a new concept, the fact that we are capable of turning against our own family and friends under the right circumstances is just fascinating to me.
So, we have the Koffin family holding the guns and terrorizing this household, and we also have the hostages arguing and even fighting each other. There’s really no dull moments with this film, and that’s certainly something that I consider to be of high importance. With dramas and even comedies, there are some dry parts to be anticipated, but with a psychological horror film we want the misfortune to press on!
I love it when movies mess with us and try to make us believe that “Oh, everything will be ok”. Early on in the film, when mother does arrive at the house, she is very sweet and pleasant to the guests, unlike her sons. She calmly explains the situation and assures everyone that if all goes well, she and her family would be on their way shortly. This is one of only a few examples I can provide of actually knowing that I’m being “misled” and liking it. It’s sort of like sexual role play. You can pretend to be anyone you want, but you know that the end result will be the same every time. Yes, I just used THAT as a reference.
Total Abstract Rating: 85% If you are ok with the lack of creativity, this really is a good film to see.
Written by Chris McBride, author of Abstracticality.