The fall season is upon us; well at least in the parts of the country fall exists. Nonetheless regardless of the weather the fall time ushers in the holiday season and all the good that comes with it. Things like turkey, desserts, and of course holiday movies. I am a big believer to this being the most wonderful time of the year, well at least when it comes to movies. Holiday films however do tend to be hit and miss, with most studio films missing the target, while the smaller ones seem to become the new classics, and I might have just found one to add to the list.
It’s a snowy night in any town U.S.A where Luke (Levi Miller) and Garrett (Ed Oxenbound) are playing video games waiting for Luke’s parents to leave. Robert (Patrick Warburton) and Deandra (Virginia Madsen) are ready to go, but are waiting for the sitter to arrive. When Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) shows up the parents are off to the party, leaving Luke and Ashley alone. It starts off like any other night, but Luke has a plan, a plan to win Ashley’s heart. His plan is simple, he will use Garrett to act as an intruder, and when Luke saves the day, Ashley will fall into his arms, thanking her hero. When things don’t go as planned, a real danger emerges, one no one expected, and well maybe one had a plan all along.
Coming up with something different for the holidays can be a difficult chore. Most films focus on the happiness or the mayhem of families getting together. Since my heart is not black I enjoy those movies, but I also like some darkness. Well writer Zach Kahn and Chris Peckover, the later also directing, found the perfect mix. With everything looking a lot like Christmas, until the half waypoint when the film goes all ‘home alone’ on us. There is a playfulness about the film before it turns a little darker, but even then it doesn’t lose its ray of light. The one that comes in the form of the two leads in Miller and DeJongem who shine in opposite ways. Miller who just came off from playing Peter Pan in 2015’s “Pan” takes about as hard of right turn as you can in this role. This film is just fun, as it is easy to embrace everything about it, because when it is all over you will have a wicked little smile on your face. I for one am ready for this time of year, and “Safe Neighborhood” is just the type of movie to give you those warm holiday feelings.