Directed by Todd Levin
Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, Sara Paxton
Review by Jordan
Clever, creepy and satisfyingly transfixing, small scale horror tale Static may not have the power or intent to stand among the better genre offerings of the last few years, but at a brisk 83 minutes and with a wealth of dedication from a talented cast, including the lovely Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left, The Innkeepers, Shark Night 3D), it represents polished film-making bound to reward even the most explored viewer.
After the accidental death of their young son, married couple Jonathan (Ventimiglia) and Addie (Shahi) Dade have found their once loving relationship crashing down around them. The grand house on sprawling land that successful author Jonathan has provided has now become a carrier of sorrow, and this suffocating detachment has caused the deep-in-grief Addie to lose faith in her mourning husband.
But then, on a night that starts like any other, an unexpected visitor urgently knocks on the door…
Claiming that her car has broken down and that there are strangers in gas masks stalking her, this visitor, Rachel (Paxton) explains herself to be a neighbor and is eventually allowed to stay the night through fear of sleeping in a house alone, but as her behavior becomes a tad strange (cranking classic tunes and taking a shower, as well as asking some rather intimate questions of Addie) the night itself takes a turn for the terrifying.
Let down by some intrusive, cliched orchestral cues and, once the finale runs its course, some irksome plot-holes, it is after this point that Static still manages to delight the most. The sight of the aforementioned mask-wearing intruders is indeed a spooky one, and a couple of scenes (one in particular that makes good use of a baby video monitor) ignite the heart into beating double time. When these positives are combined with the quite exceptional portrayal of an isolated, dark night and the overshadowing feel of unease Static is elevated above expectations and entrenches itself in brooding, suspenseful quality.
The quality is further heightened by professional performances all round that do well to draw both sympathy and curiosity, and an ending that many argue to be the film’s main drawing card. To dwell to much on this would be to the detriment of those yet to see it, but the revelation is indeed a smart one that guarantees Static will remain in your thoughts once the credits have rolled.
Ultimately, Static is a small film, but a good one; and deserves the attention of lovers of the fantastical and the eerie. Originally released in 3D (which seems very strange given its production limitations), you can rest assured that this home-invasion thriller has enough depth without it.