A pinch of The ‘Burbs and a smidgen of Rosemary’s Baby combined with a generous helping of Rear Window — the bad guy is named “Thorvald” — aren’t enough to reap much in the way of thrills amid director Jax Medel’s pedestrian plotting. Actions are justified simply on the basis of past forms and gut instinct. Colton (Alex MacNicoll) arrives home one night, and for no reason other than the fact that many horror-thrillers begin this way, he begins stalking the halls of his mother’s home, fireplace poker in hand. (Her new lover notwithstanding, wouldn’t Colton recognize the sound of his mother’s voice?) With mom off on a much-needed vacation, Colton has ample time to explore the neighborhood. It’s been two decades since the house across the way was occupied; surely Colton can’t be the only one on the block to notice the figures of the 70-year-old single dad (Martin Kove) and his recently adopted teenage daughter (Genevieve Hannelius) passing before the flickering lights? And what with the front porch rigged with more surveillance equipment than the Pentagon, wouldn’t the neighbors complain about the bright lights Colton uses to film at night? Alas, just when it starts to get good, the picture ends. It was dopey fun while it lasted. (2020) — Scott Marks
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