They're Outside Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by The Haunted Cinema
Directed by Sam Casserly and Airell Anthony Hayles
Written by Airell Anthony Hayles
2020, 83 minutes, Not Yet Rated
FrightFest UK Premiere on 29th August 2020
Emily Booth as Penny
Nicholas Vince as Richard
Brad Moore as Chris
Chrissy Randall as Sarah
Filming a documentary on agorophobia, a celebrity psychologist and his girlfriend head to a remote Sussex cottage to spend ten days with sufferer Sarah (Chrissy Randall). Digging to the root of Sarah's condition, Max and Nicole learn of local boogeyman Green Eyes; a folklore Freddy Krueger said to be lurking in the woods. Naturally, the psychologist is aggressively skeptical. Who's the real threat here, though? Green Eyes, creepy, snippy Sarah, or Max the brash, bullying asshole?
This down-to-earth supernatural thriller is more Creep than The Blair Witch Project, confined to a single isolated location with only a handful of kooky weirdos to its name. Pop psychologist Max is the worst – move over, That Guy from Midsommar, there's a new contender for the crown of Most Awful Horror Boyfriend. A passive-aggressive, aggressive-aggressive, gaslighting dick – and a YouTuber, to boot – the man is great fun to hate. Chrissy Randall, Nicole Miners and horror personality Emily Booth also turn in great performances – if purposefully odd, stilted and occasionally let down by the writing.
Like this year's Antrum, the film pumps up the runtime and doubles down on the mythology using a film-within-a-film mechanic (presented with warmth and charm by Nicholas Vince); repeating that film's if you watch, you die mantra. And, like Antrum, directors Sam Casserly and Airell Anthony Hayles have made a great movie pastiche – in this case, ribbing on the style of a YouTube documentary. Even if it does eventually end up in familiar territory, there's a refreshing lack of running around screaming in the dark. While it's never scary, it is unsettling, and there's a lot to be said for prioritising atmosphere over cheap jump scares.
They're Outside is modern found footage done well, taking advantages of the medium while grounding its story in good old-fashioned British folklore. Casserly and Hayles aren't re-inventing the wheel here, merely streaming it for the YouTube generation. Unlike Max's psychology videos, it's well worth the clicks.
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