- Movie Rating -

We Need To Do Something (2021)

| August 29, 2021

[This review is part of my ongoing coverage of the films screened at Birmingham Alabama’s 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival]

Oh yes!  We need to do something all right.  We need to teach Max Booth III how to write a damn screenplay!

His work here is a prime example of how to screw up a perfectly good story – take a good idea, soak it in unnecessary gobs of supernatural hoo-ha and then run the viewer through an ending that makes you want to throw golf balls at the screen.

The story is a good one.  A family of four – father Robert (Pat Healy), mother Diane (Vinessa Shaw), older sister Melissa (Sierra McCormick), and younger brother Bobby (John James Cronin) – seek shelter in their bathroom during a violent thunderstorm.  Very soon a crash is heard and they realize that a massive oak tree has fallen and is now blocking the door.  Escape is impossible and the movie quickly illustrates why although the solution of getting out, which occurs weeks later, should have been figured out in the first 48 hours.

It becomes very clear that not only are they trapped but no one is coming.  What has happened?  Has the world disappeared?  There don’t seem to be any firetrucks or ambulances outside.  Not even a helicopter.  It is as if the world outside seems to have vanished.  Of course, we the viewer are never privy to what is happening out there and we assume that the movie is saving this detail for the end.

To this point, I am on board.  People trapped in a bathroom during a storm is a pretty good set-up, especially just off a quarantine that left many of us feeling like the characters in this movie.  Anyway, time marches on, hours become days which become weeks.  Food becomes critical.  A snake enters the picture and bites Bobby on the arm.  Dad comes unglued even though he was kind of already unnerved when this whole thing started.  Then the movie flashes back to a sexual relationship that Melissa had been having with Amy (Lisette Alexis) a goth girl who dabbles in witchcraft.

What does this have to do with the situation at hand?  Unfortunately, enough to toss this otherwise functional story of isolation right out the window.  In the present, Melissa begins to have the sneaking suspicion that a spell that she and Alexis cast on a schoolmate is the reason for the storm and the reason that her family is trapped.  See, it’s all supernatural!

Nothing of this is every really explained.  Okay, fine.  It’s a bad story, but at least the movie can tell me what is outside of that bathroom, right?  Right?  No!  It doesn’t!  The movie ends without an ending!  We never find out what has been prowling around outside.  We never find out why nobody is coming.  We don’t even get an exterior shot to show us the world outside!  This is a cheat.  We’ve spent nearly two hours waiting for an answer and the movie doesn’t have one?!  Seated in Birmingham’s Lyric Theater in a sparse crowd, I shouted at the screen “Oh!  Come ON!!”  I was angry, disappointed, let down and cheated.  It would be like watching The Sixth Sense without ever finding out what was wrong with Bruce Willis.  What a rip off.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2021) View IMDB Filed in: Horror