10 Nov 2013

'Static' Review

Director: Todd Levin
Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, Andrew Orci, John Suits
Stars: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, Sara Paxton
Running Time: 83 mins
Sub-Genre: Home Invasion, Thriller, Mystery
Release: November 2012 (USA), 2013 (UK DVD)

A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.




The Home Invasion sub-genre has come a long way over the past decade, we have ranged from Inside, The Strangers and You're Next, but it's only until now that the genre is starting to get a fresh take (ala You're Next). Static is one of those films, but not all of it will please everyone. The thought process is there, the effort unfortunately isn't. Static is a stale improvement over the genre, and it does ensure the fact that the sub-genre is indeed getting stronger, but it isn't able to hold its own long enough to keep us glued, and by the time it hits you with a bang it's already too late.

Todd Levin makes his directorial debut here, along with contributing to the script, and for that I have to give him an applause because what he did here sparked intelligence. However, Static just wasn't my idea of a good time, therefore I didn't enjoy the watch; it was tense, surely, but just not as fun or focused as it perhaps could have been. I would never call this a wasted opportunity as such, it has the material but it just doesn't execute them to their full ability which is a shame really; as an ending like that would have floored any horror fan with sheer delight.

For a while, Static is able to balance it's material, using its talented cast to its advantage. That alone is a strong point for the film, its cast is able to hold their own to deliver emotional and effective performances; so if you're not engaged with the story, you will defiantly be one with the characters. Things with the characters become a little predictable, and at times the development lacks a little, but the central cast present their roles well to an extent were it almost feels like a Hollywood budget flick. If it is or not I don't know, but it hasn't got much recognition so I doubt it.

Aside from the odd predictable beat, Static actually proves to be very surprising, and although the action becomes very drab, the ending proves such an impact that it was inches away from saving the film; if the action was less "bleugh" and more "ugh" then maybe Static could have been the film it was meant to be. There is no variety here, the look and the feel to the film is colourless  both literally and metaphorically, and all of the sequences that involve the masked hunters feel inept and undeveloped. A few fight scenes and some intense chasing's would have made this a hell of a lot better, but at this point there is no reason to cry over spilled milk. The colour scheme makes sense by the end up, but watching everything through a boring, lifeless tint makes the film feel just that, boring and lifeless.

VERDICT: Static acquaints itself with a strong cast, creepy villains and a superb twist ending, but the film just feels too drab and flat to make us feel the intensity of the film, and with an ending like that it all feels a little wasted. It isn't even near the worst of the sub-genre, but it's no You're Next.



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