Anna is afflicted with severe agoraphobia, and her crippling fear of the outside world confines her to the safety of her home. When three men break in and invade her house on the outskirts of town, she is physically unable to flee, frozen by her phobia. But the intruders soon discover that looks can be deceiving. Within her home, Anna is hardly helpless at all… harbouring dark secrets and a deadly will to survive.
Beth Riesgraf is excellent as agoraphobic Anna, who has spent years looking after her dying brother Conrad. On the day of his funeral, three men forcibly enter her home, believing her to be away. They intend to rob Anna of the money she has stashed away in the house, a detail revealed to them by Dan (Rory Culkin – MaCauley’s brother), who delivered food to Anna.
Toying with her and her illness, Perry (Martin Starr) throws her outside the house, where she panics and almost has a seizure. Little gestures like Anna self-consciously pulling her skirt over her knees after she has involuntarily wet herself really endear her plight to us. The thugs are hateful, as is the duplicitous Dan, but it isn’t until Perry casually bludgeons Anna’s pet canary to death that we are really clamouring for his suffering.
We are given plenty of reasons to spur Anna on to kill these low-lives. Apart from Perry and the slimy Dan, the ‘leader’ is convincing hard-man JP (Jack Kesy) and right hand Vance (Joshua Mikel). Bad enough they strive to rob someone who is at the funeral (they think) of the long-suffering brother they have cared for, but the powerful acting gives them an extra edge of nastiness. Their inevitable demises are, if anything, not horrible enough.
The house, in which the whole thing is set, provides an effective maze-like prison for them all as they begin to realise that Anna’s intimate knowledge of the place has its advantages, and the building, it seems, has secrets of its own.
This is another ‘home invasion’ project, where the comforts of a familiar environment are turned on their head upon the arrival of uninvited ‘others’. Although the format itself may be limiting, it clearly works if used well and interspersed with interesting, well-defined and finely acted characters and sinister dilemmas. Happily, this is one such film.