Hangman (2015)

Director: Adam Mason
Writer: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes
Cast: Jeremy Sisto, Kate Ashfield, Ryan Simpkins, Ty Simpkins, Eric Michael Cole, Amy Smart
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

The Millers – Aaron (Jeremy Sisto), Beth (Kate Ashfield), Marley (Ryan Simpkins) and Max (Ty Simpkins) – return from their holidays and find their house broken into and left in a mess. They call the police and despite the trepidation such a break-in causes, they settle back into their routine, hoping that the culprit will soon be caught. But there seems to be no sign of him. Little do they know that he might be much closer than they could ever suspect.

Hangman was an absolutely creepy film that completely worked for me despite some clichéd bits and a couple of lengths.

I hope you never had to live through a break-in. Personally, I only had to deal with the light version of some money going missing after an acquaintance visited me, but the utter break of trust and the feeling of invasion was substantial regardless. And the worst thing was that it lingered afterwards and it did absolutely feel like somebody was still there, watching, waiting, ready to strike again. Hangman capitalizes on that deep unsettlement and it uses it to perfect advantage.

They combine this with found footage material, which I’m usually not a big fan of, but at least they stuck to their guns and with the concept. And with that general premise, the sense of watching illicitly created a nice doubling effect, casting the audience into the role of victim and perpetrator at the same time.

The film’s biggest weakness was the pacing. Despite its short runtime, it had moments of length in between – and then the ending came to abruptly (although it was a good, fittingly gruesome ending), leaving me with more questions than I started – most importantly: what’s happening with the kids?

In any case, the film gave me characters I liked (and Jeremy Sisto) and definitely creeped me out sufficiently to be called a success, despite the fact that it wasn’t all that innovative.

Summarizing: It’s not a must see, but you can do much worse.

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