What a shame. I hate it when I hear a bunch of buzz about a film and I drag my carcass to an actual theater with actual other people in it (eek!) and it turns out to actually suck.
Which this movie does.
If you want the plot, here it is:
A non-rich woman marries an elite-rich man and learns that, as part of the family tradition, because The Rich are different (the Patriarch of the family actually says this out loud!), she must play a game with the family, specifically at Midnight, to be accepted as "one of us". The game turns out to be Hide and Seek and of course it turns out that she hides and the whole family seeks to murder her. Thrills and hilarity ensue.
But do they? Do they really? Resoundingly, they do not.
This is a film that really thinks it's good, really thinks it's clever and witty and really just thinks it's made of win and this smugness just oozes from the pores of failure after failure throughout. It is a bad script. Genuinely bad. It rushes, it winks, it laughs at its own cleverness (even when no one in the audience is laughing), it almost seems to gloat like it's just so proud of itself, but there is one thing it fails to do and that is deliver
There is little suspense in the film because the trick that all the villains are actually idiots who couldn't tie their own shoes (because The Rich are so inept, get it?!) is turned so early in the movie that the audience just assumes that any idiot could survive these fools. Which, of course, completely undermines the film's insistence that the heroine is really something. And the joke of their ineptness is played up to such a degree, badly I might add, I guess because the filmmakers think it's funny(?) that honestly, it would seem that if she just stayed hidden in the dumbwaiter they never would have found her and they all would have accidentally shot each other by dawn, anyway.
Unfortunately, that's not what happens, because that would have been a better movie. Instead, she flees, which is fine, I guess that's what you do, because the movie desperately wants you to root for their plucky heroine (who isn't Rich!) and for her to be like the horror-comedy icon (which she's not). All of that fails because, again, the script. To be a plucky heroine, horror-icon Final Girl or whatever, you actually have to be up against people who understand how to flush a toilet, not silly caricatures, and you have to be somewhat successful at defeating them. Instead, she actually gets captured by these morons like 3 or 4 times. I mean, she is the WORST at Hide and Seek, as she's actually found six
times in the film. And almost every time she is, she's either captured showing she ain't that plucky, or she's actually rescued by someone else (further reducing her Pluck-cred), or escapes by script-luck or someone else's total incompetence (which I couldn't tell if that was intended to be funny or was just another failure of a bad script). I mean, she's rescued at least thrice if not four times in the film, how can you be the plucky heroine, horror-icon when you need this much rescuing? She only saves herself like 2 or 3 of the god knows how many times she gets caught by someone, and one of those is against a child (who is also horrible because The Rich!).
Which brings me to the ham-fisted theme of the film, "Rich bad/Poor good". Which would be fine, except that that's about the level of finesse or sophistication it's handled with. It's really like someone who has to wear a helmet all the time just chanting "Rich people bad" over and over again. Like there's this whole bit about how the help are just disposable (that lands with a whisper) and then there's this continuous thing where the family is so incompetent that they constantly have to rely on their butler(?) to capture the injured person in a wedding dress on their own property, but that's supposed to be great because he's this eccentric character that audiences will love... except he's not. He's only eccentric when the filmmakers want to try to make the scene more interesting, which always fails maybe because it's conceptually poor but also because the actor just doesn't have it in him. And his eccentricity ends up being he reason he's defeated (again, the plucky heroine just can't do it without the bad guys tripping over themselves).
Ugh. I'm having trouble even... the movie is just... None of the characters work, they're all supposed to be clever or cute in some way, but they all miss the mark with only the Bride and the brother Daniel actually playing. Each of the family are supposed to have these specific characteristics that make them interesting but it just misses again and again, most especially with the kooky aunt (groan, she was so bad) and then with Andie MacDowell as the matriarch, who ends up being like symbolic of the whole film. MacDowell could never act her way out of a wet paper bag and has dragged down many a film, but here she's like the trophy stunt-cast the filmmakers are so proud of like they're gonna get this iconic matriarch of the ultra-privileged murder-family out of her and she, like nearly every other actor in the film not named Samara, lands on her face again and again, killing scene after scene instead of killing the Bride.
Wow. I'm shocked that I wasted that much time talking about this film. It is a big disappointment I guess because there was buzz, but now that I've seen it, without that buzz, this is just another bad movie and I shouldn't waste time worrying about it. And yet, it is so self-congratulatory that it irks me. It's obvious progenitor, You're Next
, was also a film with buzz that failed to deliver, but that is actually a much better film than this one, because it wasn't constantly grinning at itself with misplaced pride. Eh. I can't even be bothered to type a conclusion to this. Don't waste your money or time on this.