A family of four seek shelter from a violent storm before realising that they are trapped without any sign of rescue. Whilst trying to grasp onto their sanity, danger lurks from outside and poses a threat beyond their comprehension.
Admittedly, We Need to Do Something does begin under the pretence of being somewhat of a lockdown thriller. After being in quarantine for over a year, thrusting us back in-between four walls doesn’t sound entirely appealing. In theory, it’s a pandemic film but without the virus – substituting disease for a storm here. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie is bad, just that the timing of release is poor and perhaps affects how one would interpret the premise outline.
The concept is enticing; a quarantine nightmare if you will. It doesn’t take very long for the film to enter morbid and disturbing territory, starting with a demon dog voiced by none other than Ozzy Osbourne – seriously, this scene is creepy. Director, Sean King O’Grady, utilises the confined setting to its full potential. Never do we see the horrors unfolding outside of the room, not even a peak. Everything is a mystery, heavily playing on psychological tension. Unfortunately, the movie falls flat when it tries to fulfil crazy plot devices and twists that instead slow the pacing, but alternatively succeeds in setting the tone.
Pat Healy gives a strong performance as the alcoholic (and aggressive) father, Robert. A huge part of the suspense revolves around whether the pressure will become overbearing for him as he antagonises his children and wife. He is an explosion waiting to happen with the smallest of ‘issues’ attributing to his growing unease. Robert doesn’t have much going for him, he’s a fairly unlikeable character but is ultimately the least of the family’s problems. Healy’s portrayal stands out for the most part, particularly during the final sequence where things well and truly hit the fan.
O’Grady relies on the unknown to convey the feeling of entrapment and horror. Rather than showing the apparent end of the world, we are obliged to sit and watch as the family commence into another screaming match – they had a lot to work out before and clearly, it’s festered. These moments are often where the film loses its edge. If there were fewer arguments and more reliance on survival instinct, the thriller would have been near unbearable to watch given the realism of the scenario – minus the impending apocalypse. A small rattlesnake makes it debut early on and causes chaos but is quickly forgotten about by the characters and the audience. Although, whenever they do move on from the interior threats, it makes certain moments in the latter half of the film genuinely shocking because it was no longer fresh in your mind.
We Need to Do Something generates an overall mixed response. Some elements work well, others feel like an attempt to mimic earlier movie plots, The Craft (1996) being a main culprit. Special effects are grotesque and eerie; anxieties should be much higher considering the circumstances, but really, all that draws our focus is how abnormally huge the bathroom is.