Over the past year, Netflix’s library of content has gone from hit or miss to being completely reworked to provide an array of quality offerings that are spearheaded by some of Hollywood’s most premier talent like Jake Gyllenhaal’s newest film The Guilty (2021) or Leonardo DiCaprio’s career-launching classic Titanic (1997). Now, Netflix’s freshly released horror flick, There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021) is dominating the charts and sitting impressively in the #1 spot.
It is October and Halloween is right around the corner, thus it’s only fitting that Netflix’s newest Slasher has reached the highest of heights on the streaming behemoth’s charts. There’s Someone Inside Your House was adapted from Stephanie Perkins’ 2017 novel by the same name. The plot revolves around its central character Makani Young, a Hawaiian girl who moved to rural Nebraska to be with her grandmother and finish out high school. However, things quickly turn dark when peers from Makani’s school are found dead after expressing fears of being stalked by a person who looked like themselves. Makani and her friends quickly determine that the serial stalker turned murderer uses masks that look eerily identical to the faces of his intended victims in order to conceal his own identity. In a desperate attempt to save their lives Makani and the friends that she has chosen to align herself with seek to try and find out the identity of the homicidal psychopath and expose them in order to permanently thwart their killing crusade. This is a film that is definitively characterized by the jump factor.
Initial talks to develop the film began in March of 2018 when, according to Deadline, Netflix obtained the rights to Henry Gayden’s adaptation of Stephanie Perkins’ novel. The streaming giant quickly partnered with, Atomic Monster and 21 Laps, Shawn Levy and James Wan’s production companies, to get the project off the ground. When the film was first picked up little was known regarding the details of the adaptation, but Netflix did publicly compare it to genre classics like Friday the 13th (1980) and Scream (1996).
Production for the Netflix original film officially kicked off that following year in March of 2019 and featured a cast largely comprised of industry newcomers. However, it does feature Sydney Park (Makani Young) as the lead, who is best known for her role as Cyndie in AMC’s The Walking Dead. The slasher also stars accomplished Canadian actor, Théodore Pellerin (Ollie Larsson) known for his work in the film Family First (2018) for which he received multiple accolades including best actor at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2019.
Netflix’s There’s Someone Inside Your House was directed by Patrick Brice and shot entirely on location in Vancouver, British Columbia between August and October of 2019. The film was initially supposed to release in February of 2021 but was likely delayed due to the pandemic. Netflix officially previewed the horror movie at Fantastic Fest on September 23, 2021, and launched it on their streaming platform on October 6, 2021.
In just two days since its release, the Netflix original climbed to the top of the charts. However, judging by the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes its success could be short-lived. Critics have pinned the slasher film at a less than stellar 47%, but that is nothing compared to the audience score of 19%. Simon Abrams of Roger Ebert noted that “There’s never really a moment in There’s Someone Inside Your House that suggests its protagonists are real enough to be worth rooting for.” However, independent YouTube-based critic Perri Nemiroff praised the cast and their acting and said that even though it “Leaves a lot on the table thematically…the strong ensemble and set pieces make it a worthwhile watch this October.”
It seems that despite Netflix’s and director Patrick Brice’s best efforts to make There’s Someone Inside Your House akin to the likes of horror classics like Friday the 13th and Scream, that it falls short of actually capturing the essence of what made those movies successful back then and the elements that continue to perpetually draw audiences in to revisit those pictures. Still, if one adjusts their expectations and experiences the movie solely for what it is, then it could very well have the potential to be a worthwhile spook-fest to enjoy during the month of October.