Kate Siegel (Oculus)
John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica)
Samantha Sloyan (Scandal)
Madison “Maddie” Young (Kate Siegel), is a deaf author who temporarily lost her hearing and voice after a bout of bacterial meningitis at age 13, and lost both permanently after a botched surgery. She lives in an isolated house in the woods. Her friend and neighbor Sarah (Samantha Sloyan) visits her one day to return a copy of her book, and that night, is chased back to Maddie’s house by a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.). Sarah bangs on the door for help, but Maddie can’t hear her, and the man stabs her to death.The man quickly realizes that Maddie is deaf and decides to make her another victim. He sneaks into the house, takes her phone, and begins taking photos of her and sending them to her laptop to make her aware of his presence. As Maddie realizes she’s being stalked, she locks herself inside the house. The man cuts the power and sabotages her car. Maddie writes that she “won’t tell, didn’t see [his] face, boyfriend coming home” on the glass-paneled front door in lipstick. The man responds by taking off his mask and saying that she has seen his face now. He then taunts her by propping Sarah’s body up against her bedroom window. Maddie tries to distract him with her car alarm so she can get Sarah’s phone from her body. She fails to get it before he returns, but manages to stab him in the arm.She then makes several failed attempts to escape, eventually climbing onto the roof. The man fires a crossbow bolt into her leg, but she manages to knock him off the roof and steal his crossbow. She staggers back into the house and tries to load the crossbow as Sarah’s boyfriend John (Michael Trucco) arrives, looking for Sarah. The man meets John, pretending that he is a police officer, but John realizes the trick and attempts to attack the man from behind with a rock. Before he can, Maddie bangs on her door to get his attention, distracting him and enabling the man to stab him in the neck.As he bleeds out, John uses his remaining strength to put the man in a chokehold to give Maddie time to escape, but she realizes she can’t run on her injured leg and that she’s also in danger of bleeding out. Maddie begins thinking through her options but realizes she can neither escape nor hide: her only hope for survival is killing the man. John dies and the man begins to threaten Maddie’s cat. She shoots him with the crossbow but only hits his shoulder. While running back inside, her hand gets caught in the front door and the man stomps on it and crushes it. He threatens to enter, and she taunts him by writing “do it, coward” on the door with her blood. As he prepares to, Maddie quickly types her last words to her family and adds a description of the man on her laptop, then runs to the bathroom with a knife and waits for the man to open the door.The man instead climbs in behind her from a skylight and prepares to stab her but she feels his breath on her neck and stabs him in the leg just in time. She stumbles to the kitchen, where she uses insecticide spray and her specialized smoke alarm to blind and deafen him, but he regains the upper hand by strangling her. On the verge of losing consciousness, she manages to grab a nearby corkscrew and stab the man in the throat, finally killing him. After taking her cell phone back from the man’s corpse, Maddie calls 911, and stumbles outside. She pets her cat as the police arrive at the house, and smiles.Superb acting from Kate Siegel, given the fact that she was only able to use sign language and other resources as a form of communication. You wonder throughout the film what you would do in her shoes, and you may be surprised by the logic and resourcefulness of some of her decisions. There are several moments that would likely get an audience riled up. An excellent horror.