The family gathers to hear the reading of the will after the death of the father from a heart attack: Mum gets the house, the son gets the money, and the daughter receives… Featuring Simon Pegg as a witch. In an early flashback, Warburton mumbles, “We all make errors. This was mine,” mirroring everyone in the movie. It turns out that he had a dark past dating Pegg’s mystery playboy, and for almost 30 years, he kept Pegg’s character imprisoned in a bunker beneath a garden.
The trap door key belonged to Lauren’s late father
When Lauren receives the trap door key from her father, she discovers a terrified elderly man tied to the wall pleading for his life. For some reason, she snaps, locks him back up, and spends weeks attempting to slowly, painstakingly figure out who he is. This is something that no one else would do in the same circumstance.
One of the numerous plot devices used by the screenplay to maintain the audience’s attention on shuffling papers and amateur detective stories is the fact that Lauren’s strange reaction makes absolutely no sense from a human perspective. By the time the significant family secret is revealed, it is difficult to care about any of it since no one in the movie seems like a genuine person and instead resembles something screenwriter Matthew Kennedy wrote after seeing The Room on the back of a popcorn box. or Succession Or I Remember What You Did Over the Summer.
Just making the things worse
Adding insult to injury, Collins and Pegg each overcompensate for their weakly developed characters in puzzlingly unique ways. Pegg plays his hermit crazy as low-key as possible, softly toying with rodents and talking about Key Lime Pie in a low growl that sounds like he’s auditioning for Batman. Collins performs her lines the loudest and shoutiest, giving her lines the most of everything.
Someone with such talent for comedy must realise how absurd this is all. But director Vaughn Stein makes sure everything is draped with the heaviest of atmospheres, employing grey palettes, slow cuts, and dirgey background music to run the whole picture as one low, constant hum. Push the movie a little bit closer to the ludicrous, and it would almost be entertaining to watch.
It’s difficult to see someone paying money on this and feeling underwhelmed — and it’s even harder to imagine it not quietly sneaking out on Netflix or Amazon in a few months if you’re truly that interested. This movie skips the theatre and goes directly to pay-per-view streamers. Some items ought to remain in the basement.