Tobe Hooper returns to DIY horror for his best movie in 20 years (not hard, really), a grainy, grubby little bruiser that recalls the snuff-o-vision sadism of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
It begins with a young married couple (Angela Bettis, Brent Roam) moving into a dilapidated apartment block. Hubby works long hours while wifey unpacks, unsettled by rowing neighbours and a friend's ominous disappearance. She should be: there's a home-improvement nutjob on the loose, intent on introducing a garish colour scheme via claw hammer, power drill and nail gun...
A radical retooling of Dennis Donnelly's 1978 nasty, Hooper's update ditches the reactionary sexual morals and introduces a faintly intriguing backstory involving Hollywood lore and black magic. The result plays like Rosemary's Baby mauled by The Driller Killer, Hooper building tension through sordid, seedy visuals and clinical cutting. The final act is a let-down, but this is a welcome return to lo-fi, '70s-tinged horror.
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