Within (2015) Horror Movie Review


“Within” (2016), originally titled “Crawlspace,” is a horror-thriller that delves into the unsettling notion of a stranger living within the confines of a family’s new home. Directed by Phil Claydon and penned by Gary Dauberman, the film stars Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty, and Nadine Velazquez as a family who, after moving into what seems like an ideal residence, begin to experience strange occurrences that suggest they are not alone.

The premise of “Within” is not entirely novel, drawing comparisons to the 1970s made-for-television movie “Bad Ronald” and the Gary Busey film “Hider in the House.” However, “Within” attempts to stand on its own with a modern twist on the hidden-intruder subgenre. The movie’s effectiveness largely hinges on the audience’s reception of its central twist, which has been a point of contention among viewers and critics alike.

The film’s narrative explores themes of privacy invasion and the vulnerability of domestic security, a concept that resonates with contemporary societal fears. The execution of this theme, however, has been met with mixed reviews. Some critics have pointed out plot holes and inconsistencies, such as the antagonist’s ability to move silently and undetected within the house’s crawl space, raising questions about the architectural realism presented in the movie.

Despite these criticisms, “Within” has been acknowledged for its production values, characteristic of Warner Bros. productions. The cinematography and set design have been highlighted as elements that elevate the film’s quality, providing a polished look to the otherwise familiar storyline.

Audience reactions have varied, with some finding the film to be a lackluster addition to the horror genre, citing its predictability and lack of originality. Others have appreciated the film for what it is—a straightforward horror-thriller with enough suspense to hold attention. The performances, particularly by Ronnie Gene Blevins as the unsettling neighbor, have been noted for their contribution to the film’s eerie atmosphere.

In the Nutshell

“Within” serves as a reminder of the horror genre’s ability to tap into primal fears, even if it doesn’t break new ground. It may not be a standout in a time when the genre is experiencing a renaissance of intelligent and innovative storytelling, but for those looking for a dose of suspense with a side of creepiness, “Within” might just fit the bill. For a more in-depth analysis and a broader perspective on the film’s place within the horror genre, one might consider exploring further reviews and discussions. I give 4 out of 5 stars. 

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Genre:  Haunted house

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