Director Todd Levin chose his genre wisely for his debut movie. The ‘home invasion’ sub-genre of horror is well established, whilst not being as overcrowded as others, and it certainly has plenty of scope for thoughtful directors to stamp their mark and make their movies unique. ‘Static’ does just that. At its core it’s your typical ‘home invasion’ affair, but surrounding that it becomes a morose tale of love, hardship and above all else sheer suspense and terror!
The story follows the final fateful night of a couple who have already endured a lot. Still mourning the loss of their child, the couple are visited in the middle of the night by a hysterical young woman. She is claiming to have been terrorised by a gang of masked assailants, and through her actions, may have inadvertently led them right to the house. Needless to say she has, although as with all good mysteries, not everything is as it seems, and throughout the night the couple find their plight cascading into deeper and deeper peril.
As I have already mentioned, the plot of ‘Static’ is standard fare, and whilst the ‘twist’ ending advertised on the DVD sleeve offers something in the way of a difference, many of ‘Static’s’ more creepy moments could be taken out of either ‘The Strangers’ or ‘The Silent House’. It’s simple, although not particularly original, but it works, and without a doubt ‘creepy’ is something ‘Static’ does very well. The first half of the movie is nail bitingly tense. The bumps, the masked figures and the continued dark,all combine and really begin to get under your skin very quickly. Rather entertainingly some of the scenes really were on the limit of what I could take before turning the light on!
Whilst all of the above would be enough to get a modest score on BTG what I felt really gave ‘Static’ the edge was the maturity through which it was filmed. I enjoyed seeing the confidence of Levin’s direction to allow the actor’s necessary screen time to make their roles their own; both characters really gelled and felt like the two ordinary people they were aiming to portray. I enjoyed the confidence in the pacing, where a solid and choking atmosphere was allowed to naturally build through an emotional bond between the viewer and the characters - I have always found that not sharing the plight of the characters is often a deal breaking boundary for home invasion movies. Finally the score, every bit as minimalist as it was silence shattering, mercilessly helped generate the right amount of tension at all the right times.
Overall then is it perfect? Well of course not, but there is so much promise in ‘Static’ that I would find it hard not to recommend. If I was being pedantic I would argue that the much publicised ‘twist’ ending was fairly well telegraphed, and there are of course the odd moments throughout the movie where you might not necessarily see the sense in the characters choice of action, but through and through this is a solid, not to mention fairly terrifying 80 minutes worth of film. I would definitely add this to any Saturday evening movie watching rosta.