Directed by Sean King O’Grady from a screenplay by Max Booth III, based on his novel of the same name, We Need to Do Something frames its story within the confines of one location. While there have certainly been many horror films that have employed the single-set plot device, this separates itself through the use of supernatural story elements that balance out the jump scares and gore.
In a small, unnamed town, a family quickly becomes trapped in their bathroom as a storm rages overhead. The family members are the father, Robert (Pat Healy), the mother, Diane (Vinessa Shaw), and their children, Melissa (Sierra McCormick) and Bobby (John James Cronin). Although it would be lying to say that any of the characters have any real depth or development, their interactions with each other create some fun, if not wildly cartoonish, horror set pieces that drive the narrative along. The emotions that the family experience becomes heightened as they soon find out they can’t leave the room. The scenes where they butt heads with each other range from competent to obnoxious, but even the worst scenes are by no means unwatchable.
“…a family quickly becomes trapped in their bathroom as a storm rages overhead.”
Throughout We Need to Do Something, there are many flashbacks that aim to flesh out the world. Melissa gets most of the focus. But her romance with Amy (Lisette Alexis) is lazily executed to the point of being unintentionally absurd and unrealistic. It doesn’t help that their dialogue is laughable. This becomes a significant problem because Melissa is the only character that the screenplay attempts to ground in reality. The effort goes to waste, though, with her just becoming another prop, taking up valuable screen time that could’ve been used to expand on the premise.
On a purely technical level, O’Grady does a fair job presenting the over-the-top characters. The score always fit whatever scene was happening at the time, never detracting from the desired tone. The camerawork and color palette were also handled very well. Together they made for some creative visuals. The practical effects were a nice change of pace from the CGI-heavy horror thrillers that have become so common in horror as of late. But even these aspects fail to derive any proper investment in the story or its characters.
We Need to Do Something simply doesn’t have the character-centered backbone to create an engaging 96-minute long story. It’s painfully obvious that atmosphere and style were the priority even though the premise made it so that the characters took the spotlight. The presentation lacks any real substance, ultimately devolving the proceedings into pure schlock. There’s definitely an audience for films like these, but if you’re looking for anything more than some cool visuals and absurd terror, this one may not be for you.
"…a nice change of pace from the CGI-heavy horror thrillers that have become so common..."