USA | 2018 | D: Chris von Hoffmann
Not everything is as it seems in Malibu, huh? This is an interesting, if short, little thriller (disagree that it’s a comedy, unless you’re counting the effects) with a nice little twist and more than enough content to keep you watching.
Iris, Dodge and Casper are three small time crooks sick of hitting up houses for small returns. Casper’s dad is a gambling addict, and owes a bad guy a lot of money while Iris is pregnant with Dodge’s baby, and they’re looking to settle out of their small-time hustling.
Iris also has a legitimate job as hired hand for house parties. One such party happens to be occurring the night before Casper needs to pay back his father’s gambling debts, and Iris reluctantly allows the boy to tag along so they can rob her rich Malibu client.
Unbeknownst to the trio, the family who owns the house – the Dawsons – are having a party to celebrate their sobriety. From killing. The Dawsons, alongside their other guests for the evening, are all recovering murderers, and during the night the party takes a turn for the worst. Dodge ends up brutally chopped up and Iris and Casper need to fight their way out of the house to survive.
The premise is clever and the movie is well acted and directed. It’s a shame there are a few plot holes left dangling that initially seem minor but end up rather annoying. For example – Mrs Dawson knows that Iris usually works her partiers with two others boys, but how did Iris managing to convince them not to turn up to work and miss out on getting paid? Likewise, one of the guests turns up with a young girl who mouths “Help Me” to the boys – making it seem like she is a victim, but since we know what all the guests are, her character makes no sense.
The end of the movie takes a turn for the brutal. The violence is definitely turned up a few notches as we get to the climax of the film and a few rather ridiculous death scenes threaten to derail the good work of the movie. Luckily its easily forgiven and the movie ends up being a good watch. Recommended.