Grace always wanted a family, so it means a lot to her that she forms one with her newly-wed husband, Alex’s family. The Le Domas family, whom Alex has been estranged from for a number of years.
It’s tradition that any new addition to the family has to play a game at midnight chosen by drawing a card. Grace draws a card that says ‘Hide and Seek’, only the family’s version of the game is sadistic and Grace has to fight for her life.
Samara Weaving was fantastic, has a great personality and is very likeable. I like that she’s not your typical action girl, she doesn’t have a history of violence or training so self-defence doesn’t come naturally to her. She spends a lot of the action running and goes with her instincts when she needs to.
She doesn’t always have the upper hand in a fight but clever writing stops her being a damsel-in-distress or doing stupid things to advance the plot. In that she’s a more realistic heroine instead of a Mary-Sue type who has to be rescued all the time or killing everyone with ease.
Adam Brody is also a stand-out as Alex’s brother Daniel, being the most complex member of the Le Domas. Mark O’Brien starts off a little bland as Alex, but he does get better towards the end. The rest of the cast playing the members of Le Domas, Henry Czemy, Andie MacDowell, Nicky Guadagni, Melanie Scrofano, Elyse Levesque and Kristian Brunn are fantastic and each have their moments to shine with all individual personalities and motivations.
The tone of this film is very tongue-in-cheek in similar vein of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films. This is extremely hilarious, everyone in the cinema was laughing at all the jokes and slapstick humour was all perfectly timed. But it’s still a horror film, some of the chase scenes were intense and the violence and gore is very cringe-worthy at times.
The storyline formula is pretty much cat-and-mouse, however there are plenty of twists and turns that keep it refreshing. Especially the final resolution, which I did not see coming at all and it had me in stitches. It was an ending that could’ve gone completely wrong, however the film earned it with clever build-up and it’s perfect tone.
The house is so beautiful and very well designed with gothic imagery, it’s like going into ‘Disney's Haunted Mansion’. All the little details in the background are so well done, it will probably take multiple viewings to appreciate all of them. It’s also nice to touch of having Grace in a wedding dress, which helps add to the gothic imagery. It’s also a great contrast to the mostly black clothing the Le Domas family wears – like a good vs. evil image.
The film reminds me a lot of Clue, in fact the weapons in this film are a nod to both the film and the game (Cluedo), with it’s similar dark-comedy and tongue-in-cheek tone and gothic house setting. It also has a mix of You’re Next and a hint of Get Out, so if you’re a fan of any of these films then I recommend you watch this film. Also the ‘Hide and Seek’ song is ridiculously catchy, you’ll be humming that days.
Written by Jack Parish