The Movie Waffler New to Shudder - WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING | The Movie Waffler


family trapped in their bathroom begin to believe what’s keeping them there may be of supernatural origin.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Sean King O’Grady

Starring: Sierra McCormick, Pat Healy, Lisette Alexis, Vinessa Shaw, John James Cronin, Ozzy Osbourne

We Need to Do Something poster

Just thinking back to the first lockdown and the giggles we had. Remember Joe Wicks doing keep fit for people with unfeasibly large sitting rooms? Queuing to get into Lidl? Pub quizzes over Zoom? What were all that about, eh?! And, within the online horror film community, this ongoing chin stroking speculation concerning How Horror Will Respond To The Pandemic. Problem with such conjecture was that the first lockdown was essentially an alienating sensation of jaded, gnawing terror for most and crippling isolation for some: in short, it was similar enough to a horror narrative already, and too close to home in a way that the once removed Vietnam allegories of '70s horror, say, were not. Wouldn’t Covid inspired horror all be a bit on the nose? Some plucky opportunists did crop up: Rob Savage’s excellent-the-first-time-you-see-it Host, FrightFest closer The Sadness (which I haven’t seen) and cash-ins like Corona Zombies (which I have no desire to see), but I’m still uncertain how far the pandemic and all its frank miseries lends itself to the shadows and metaphor intrinsic to horror.

We Need to Do Something review

Sean King O'Grady (director) and Max Booth III’s (writer from his original novella) We Need to Do Something is an intriguing entry into the corona canon. Booth III’s book of the same name and script were written pre-pandemic, but with huckster perception, O’Grady (formerly a director of documentaries, and, according to imdb, a producer by trade - a role he fulfils for We Need to Do Something) recognised that, "without directly addressing the nightmare we are currently living through, Max created a hellish allegory that still manages to capture the collective trauma we’re all experiencing," and presumably reconfigured the screenplay to reflect Covid context. Yeah, cheers for that, then.

We Need to Do Something review

We Need to Do Something sees us stuck indoors with a typical family of mum, dad, older sister, younger brother and doomed dog. The film opens with a craftily disorienting en media res, which positions the audience on the back foot, as narrative information arrives only via carefully apportioned flashbacks. All we know is that there’s been some sort of mad weather outside which has meant that the clan can’t leave the household: an offscreen tree has fallen across their front door. What’s more, there’s some foreboding folio coming from the surrounding area too, so probably best to sit it out, you know, just wait here for a little while. See what happens...

What happens is that the family - who are potentially in some sort of limbo, a possibility the film plays with from the off - quickly go a bit mad due to being all locked in a bathroom and having to perform their business in close vicinity (I’d take my chances with the exterior growls, thanks), and progressively dehydrate/starve due to lack of provisions. It helps that the dad is played by the great Pat Healy, beloved veteran of this sort of indie fare, and who is far too controlled an actor to allow for histrionics and instead provides a controlled, intuitive menace which in turn sets the tone of the film. The film’s weird feel, and shifting logic, is fittingly dreadful, with 90 minutes and change drawing you inexorably in. And just when you let your guard down to this ostensibly stir-crazy story, a couple of genuinely shocking moments occur, and are properly frightening.

We Need to Do Something review

Of course, the film has no idea how to end itself. Flashback sequences lead us to understand the situation the cornered kith and kin find themselves in, which is due to a lovelorn teen daughter, and the evergreen propensity adolescents have to mess around with things they have no real understanding of. The chamber play aspect of the film is claustrophobic, but in a way that is recognisable, rather than evocative. The Cthulan nudges about the edge of the narrative, and the teen angst at the heart of it, would have perhaps been better explored than We Need to Do Something’s already over-familiar nightmare lockdown stylings.

We Need to Do Something is on Shudder UK now.