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Monday, August 3, 2020

They Come Knocking (2019)




This movie is part of the Into the Dark series on Hulu. I’ve watched a couple of them and honestly have been impressed with what I’ve seen so far. Small budget horror movies that have delivered the goods. Will They Come Knocking keep up my streak of decent flicks? Let’s take a look.

Nathan is taking his daughters Clair and Maggie into a special spot in the desert to spread their mother’s ashes. She died of cancer, I think, and they are all traumatized by it. His oldest, Clair, is also in that angry teenager phase so it is a double whammy. After some family drama they end up camping in a remote area. That first night some creepy kids show up asking if they can come inside. They are wise enough not to let them in, but the next morning the truck is disabled, and they find themselves trapped in the middle of nowhere. After some exploring it becomes clear that they aren’t the only people to have fallen prey to these little monsters. But who are they and why did they pick this family? Sorry no spoilers in this review.

There is a lot to like with this movie. The story is tight and after a couple of minutes of initial backstory gets right to the creepy stuff. They make a wise decision to drop little nuggets of history to develop the characters while they are trapped and tormented by the evil kids. This adds depth without bogging down the proceedings. By the end of the movie we know who these characters are and when it comes time for a solution why it works. One of my pet peeves with low budget movies is that far too many of them don’t take the time to make sure they have a finished script that has an arc that is easy to follow and understand. They Come Knocking is a perfect example of how to do this right.

Creepy kids... yikes!
The locations and cast also work perfectly for their resources. Most of the movie is just the three characters along with the performers in the makeup. The location is the campsite and camper, along with a couple other smaller set pieces. All of which are easy to control and work with. The scale of the movie is very small and fits the resources that they were working with. Even the makeup is perfect. The costumes and designs are simple, but very effective. They create a lot of tension with a couple well placed jump scares reinforced by the sound design. Is there anything creepier than the sound of children laughing and giggling in the dark? Toss in some tapping on the glass, the dead cancer mom, and a shovel to the face for a fun and interesting time.

I don’t want to give anymore away because I’m going to recommend this movie and don’t want to spoil the best stuff. Is this a perfect movie? Not really. But it is a perfectly serviceable horror story that can scratch that itch if you are looking for something new to watch. I’ll probably never revisit it, but They Come Knocking was well worth one viewing. Like I mentioned earlier this one is streaming on Hulu. If you have that service check it out.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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