Marrieds Jonathan and Addie Dade (respectively, Kiss of the Damned‘s Milo Ventimiglia and Bullet to the Head‘s Sarah Shahi) know this, yet answer the door anyway. There stands a young woman in distress (Sara Paxton, The Innkeepers) who says her car broke down and now is being pursued by men in gas masks.
It’s a whale of a tale for the Dades to swallow, especially in the wee small hours of the morning, but damned if there isn’t truth to it, and our protagonists find their humble home under siege.
Including this summer’s hit The Purge, home-invasion thrillers are hardly novel these days. The reason they’re so dime-a-dozen is because, in general, they work; any homeowner, especially those with kiddos under the roof, can relate. The mistitled Static adheres to that near-universal fear and injects it with the instantly creepy image of gas-masked men, while also exploring marital tension between Jonathan and Addie, both of whom are stuck in different stages of grief surrounding the drowning death of their one and only child.
Unraveling its central mystery is mildly engaging, but I wonder how much more effective Static would be if it hadn’t given away its twist right in the film’s opening moments — a mind-boggling creative decision for an otherwise sure-footed thriller.
Less worrisome is why Static is presented in 3-D; the format falters in the dark, and this film is one that takes place almost exclusively at night. Luckily, Flatiron Film Group’s three-disc package also includes flat versions on Blu-ray and DVD. —Rod Lott
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