Retreating to their bathroom to escape a storm, Melissa (Sierra McCormick, American Horror Stories) and her family soon find themselves trapped with no sign of rescue. As the hours go by, Melissa begins to realize that this may not be just an ordinary storm and her family is in grave danger.
Based on writer Max Booth III‘s novella of the same name, We Need to Do Something is a surprisingly rich story that does a lot with very little. Relying almost exclusively on the performances of the family of four and the bathroom setting, Booth and director Sean King O’Grady are able to explore emotionally heavy themes such as trauma, emotional abuse, family dysfunction, alcoholism, and dishonesty, all within the four walls of the bathroom sanctuary. At first glance, this film is fairly straightforward – a family trapped in a room must fight for survival, knowing that there is something sinister waiting for them outside. As you begin to connect the dots between the metaphors, it’s not hard to immediately see that Booth and O’Grady crafted an allegory about abusive family relationships and how they affect the innocent within them. It’s subtle yet overt at the same time which makes it a perfect mix to keep the viewer engaged throughout without feeling completely lost at the end.
Naturally, this kind of story could not work without the emotional heavy lifting of the four family members. McCormick’s Melissa is your typical teenage girl but with a dark secret that begins to unravel throughout the course of the film. She’s riddled with guilt about what may be the cause of the disastrous storm and continuously ignored by her parents that by the end, is left to pick up the pieces of her now shattered life. McCormick’s performance here was relatable, emotionally diverse, and for a large part the reason why the portions of the film with supernatural elements really stuck.
Likewise, Melissa’s parents (Vinessa Shaw and Pat Healy) both showcase phenomenal acting as two parents who no longer feel love towards one another and refuse to acknowledge it. They serve as two sides of the same coin with Healy’s Robert being an emotionally selfish alcoholic and Shaw’s Diane being an overly emotional mother refusing to be honest with her family. By the end of the film, their performances complement one another and are the main drivers for the film’s overall theme.
The only other remaining characters worth noting are that of the final family member, Bobby (John James Cronin), who gave a performance typical of most child actors these days, and Melissa’s girlfriend Amy (Lisette Alexis), whos appearances were brief yet important to the overall narrative.
All in all, We Need to Do Something is a well crafted film that tells an important story almost everyone can relate to these days. Phenomenal performances, a well written script, and good directing made sure that the heavy messaging would not be lost on those who watch while still offering an enjoyable viewing experience.
We Need to Do Something is available on digital October 25th from Blue Finch Film Releasing.
Reviewed October 17, 2021 (screener provided by Blue Finch Films Releasing). Rating: Unrated. Running time: 97 min.
PRODUCTION: A Blue Finch Films Releasing and IFC Midnight release of an Atlas Industries, Spin a Black Yarn, and Hantz Motion Pictures production. Produced in association with A Bigger Boat. Producers: Peter Block, Ryan Lewis, & Josh Malerman. Executive Producers: Max Booth III, John Hantz, Lauren Hantz, Donovan Leitch, & Katherine Waddell. Co-Producer/Executive Producers: Colin Duerr, Pat Healy, Sierra McCormick, & Vinessa Shaw. Associate Producer: Cinnamon Triano.
CREW: Director: Sean King O’Grady. Writer: Max Booth III. Editing: Shane Patrick Ford. Cinematography: Jean-Philippe Bernier. Music: David Chapdelaine.
CAST: Sierra McCormick, Vinessa Shaw, Pat Healy, Lisette Alexis, John James Cronin, Ozzy Osbourne, Logan Kearney, & Dan John Miller.