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  We Need to Do Something Could You Direct Us To The Bathroom?
Year: 2021
Director: Sean King O'Grady
Stars: Sierra McCormick, Vinessa Shaw, Pat Healy, Lisette Alexis, John James Cronin, Ozzy Osbourne, Logan Kearney, Dan John Miller
Genre: Horror, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There has been a tornado warning and this family of four are going to heed it. As the storm strengthens outside, they opt to take shelter in the most robust room in the house, the bathroom, which has thick walls and is well equipped to allow them to hide away from the terrible weather. Teenage daughter Melissa (Sierra McCormick) is constantly checking her phone because she wants to hear from a schoolfriend and is anxious about her for some reason, but that doesn't mean she won’t have time to snap at her parents, mother Diane (Vinessa Shaw) and father Robert (Pat Healy), nor tease her little brother Bobby (John James Cronin).

However, they may have to tolerate each other's company for longer than expected... Based on the novella by Max Booth III, and adapted for the screen by him as well, so presumably this was all what he had in mind when he envisaged it, We Need to Do Something was an indie horror with ambitions to seem like a claustrophobic melodrama, when it was actually gradually revealing itself as a weirdo chiller. Initially, when a tree falls against the closed bathroom door it appears we will be in for a survival thriller, but while that was an element, there were other aspects as well, and similarly we were anticipating not leaving the single location for the duration.

When suddenly flashbacks are sprung on us which are purportedly meant to clear up the backstory yet in effect merely muddy the waters in our discerning of what it actually happening, outside and inside. Has Melissa's extracurricular activity with self-harming Goth buddy (and possible girlfriend material) Amy (Lisette Alexis) resulted in the family being victimised by strange forces, or were the strange forces uncovered by the tornado which - it sounds - has devastated the area and left the four of them stranded in their mostly-collapsed home? Is Melissa's insistence on blaming the disaster on herself the ultimate in teenage narcissism and self-centred despair, or does she have a point?

Either way, they all have a lot to cope with, from menaces that appear to have been natural like the rattlesnake that finds its way into the bathroom to Robert's quickly unhinged behaviour that suggests he is here to represent the crisis of modern masculinity in one unhappy, rage-filled persona, and has settled into that so comfortably that he has become a real threat to his clan. But there is one scene that indicates most strongly we are not dealing with a normal film, and it's a scene where many of the audience will check out, unwilling to go on this journey from micro-sized disaster movie to determinedly bizarre shocker. Three of the cast had been steadily amassing offbeat credits over the past few years, and McCormick in particular was showing an admirable interest in going the extra mile for eccentric titles like this.

That scene goes thusly: back in the bathroom, the unwitting prisoners can get the door ajar to a small degree, enough to see the tree blocking it (who has a bathroom door that opens outwards, anyway?!), but then Bobby hears something outside: a friendly dog of his acquaintance. He reaches through the gap and pets it, then the emboldened Melissa does too, a moment of succour, of comfort - until the dog says in Ozzy Osbourne's voice, "I'm a good boy!" and grabs onto her hand. She screams, the family try to pull her away until they succeed, but in the process, she has torn out the dog's tongue by the roots. What they then do with said tongue is splendidly disgusting, and if you're appreciating how far this will go for throwing your expectations into the nearest bin, then this is a movie worth taking a chance on. Almost perversely not for everyone, it impressed with its dedication to the weird and its refusal to explain. Music by David Chapdelaine.

[Blue Finch Film Releasing presents We Need to do Something on digital 25 October 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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