Home invasions occur every 26 seconds, the title card to writer / director Paul Hibbard’s short film “Some Visitors” warns, reminding the audience that the perpetrators often prefer to target houses that look like someone is at home. It’s a terrifying statistic that sets the tone instantly for this disturbing and truly horrific thriller.
A news report in the background warns that home invasions have been on the rise in a quiet suburban neighborhood where a young woman is enjoying a glass of wine. Something feels off about her, and there’s a general sadness to her demeanor. She’s trying to relax when the doorbell rings and a strange, menacing man shows up at the door asking for help. She makes a series of disastrous mistakes, the first one being that she actually opens the door.
The young woman does stupid things (letting the man inside the house) and says stupid things (she actually tells the stranger that she is home alone and her family is out of town), so much so that you may find yourself shouting at the screen at all of the dangerous mistakes she makes. I know I yelled out “no!” more than once. To become so involved so quickly is a testament to how terrific not only the performances are, but also the storytelling, editing, and directing.
Things become increasingly violent and bloody, with the woman determined to fight back. She’s strong and admirable, until everything is upended. This is a shocking, disturbing film that actually pushes the envelope too far, so be warned that it’s tough to watch.
If you think you know where this story is going, guess again. Hibbard’s script takes a devilish turn, and his expert sense of timing is impeccable. The tension is nearly unbearable as the suspense builds and stakes are raised.
“Some Visitors” is one of the better home invasion horror films I’ve seen, and to do it all in less than half an hour is commendable. Give this man a longer feature film directing gig, stat.
By: Louisa Moore