While first watching the movie, I wasn't that much offended. Even though, I noticed all the unnecessary jump scares, lacking scary atmosphere, rip-off elements and lazy story writing. For some strange reason I kept watching. And I think it was mainly for the actors. Say what you will, but Jennifer Lawrence is just fascinating to watch. Her facial features and the way she looks at people or things are simply intriguing. And this guy, Max Something, who plays the antagonist, was actually really good. If he hadn't been wasted for a completely lackluster and dumb-founded script. He had this moody presence and kind of sexiness about him, very promising. As for the rest: The film is just a very awful rip-off (starting with the title) of way-out-of-its-league horror and thriller films. Only, it is made for teens without any real terror, suspense or gore.
Be aware that this is NOT a horror film but a (suspense-less) suspense thriller which is pretty harmless. You could actually watch it with your teenage kids.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of all the film's stupidities:
1. The blurred camera, the "crazy" diagonal camera angles and the retro colors in the "horror" scenes and flashbacks.
2. Three minutes into the movie, our main girl walks through a dark forest, by herself and in her low-cut shirt.
3. Why was there actually someone crazy lurking behind the trees and watching her? Didn't have anything to do with the story.
4. All the cheap and unnecessary jump scares.
5. All those teenage movie clichés: Young and different girl and her mother try to leave the past behind and start a new life in a remote town. She befriends the strange but artistic neighbour, who also happens to be an outsider. He is loathed and bullied by all the other kids. The band event. She gets in fights with her mother over bad parenting and does not follow her orders. The friendly small-town cop who is bound to die right from the get-go. Bla bla bla...
6. Her cleavage is in every other scene and the poor girl has to wear a tight tank top throughout the whole movie. Enough already.
7. So, if you keep a girl in the basement and drug her from time to time, she apparently starts to move, limp, look, behave and even grunt like a zombie?
8. Apparently, whenever the girl escapes, in fact she is just trying to get away. Still, she grabs a huge knife and charges at people.
9. Why would he still keep the key on the ledge of the door, after the girl has already escaped several times?
10. OK, people in town don't like the guy (although, it would be more logical for the town folk to have some pity for him, after what he allegedly suffered). However, why would the bully kids so violently destroy his car and then try to beat him to death? Out of the blue. Then set his house on fire. When he has been there all the years before?
11. Why is the cop's flashlight not working all of a sudden? Plot device, anyone?
12. All the audacious rip-offs from nice movies like Psycho, Last House on the Left, Rear Window, Halloween etc. etc. Then the final scene: This most shameless copycat-shot of Silence of the Lambs (dark basement, first-person perspective in the dark with limited vision, shooting the killer, who charges at our heroine). How dare the filmmakers? They should be sued for this.
13. The mother is stabbed with a monster knife right in her abdomen but does not seem to suffer any consequences.
14. The killer gets shot multiple times and hit over the head with a hammer in full force. Nevertheless, he just ends up unscathed in a mental institution in the final shot. God forbid, they are thinking about a sequel!
15. Either he wanted to keep a girl in the basement as sister-substitute and still lead a normal life on the outside (incl. having a girl friend) as the first hour suggests. Or he would try to catch JLaw as his new make-believe sister, because he can't have both (he even says this himself in the end). Considering this, his behaviour during the whole movie does not make any sense. What was his plan?
16. I will not even get into the logical substance of the main premise that the guy was brought up as a girl instead of his sister and... Oh, leave me alone.