Davi is the only survivor after a horrific night of murders. The Umbrella Killer killed 5 of her friends in the small town of Sutter Bay. Davi's life isn't what it used to be.
When Daniel Schneidkrauf, the director of "Seeking Wellness" and "Invincible Force" told me about this film I knew I had to get my hands on it. And it turns out that the cinematographer on "Seeking Wellness" is the director of this one, so I was even more excited! I got a note with this DVD that said I shouldn't expected something similar to Dan's films, but I beg to differ. I might not see a lot in common in terms of themes and that, but there is something brooding in Minneapolis. What "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" shares with Schneidkraut's films is the psychologically challenging undertone and the lust for doing something unique.
The real plot in this film has already passed us once we start watching it. The story is in the back story. And oddly enough, the back story is an extremely generic slasher movie, yet this movie is the furthest you can get from that. This story takes place after a textbook slasher movie massacre, where only the nice girl manages to take down the killer and is the sole survivor. This movie is a post-horror movie, it's what happens after the killer is dead and the last girl standing is trying to continue her life, without her friends. We're about a year after the incident and young Davi is struggling with her loneliness. What we're left with is one of the calmest film experiences ever.
"Tonight, We Stay Indoors" is perhaps one of the most original films I have watched this year and I can't possibily compare it to other films. To write a fair review of this one I have to step out of my safe zone of past film experiences and prejudices, and rate it simply as its own thing. I said it's one of the calmest film experiences, and it really is. Hell, for the first 2 1/2 minutes everything is black, with a slow song playing. It cuts to a blue-lit room with our lead, Davi, only visible as a silhouette, while a narrator begins telling us her story. The rest of the film consists mostly of this narrator, and of course Davi walking around looking caught in her own thoughts, with additional nature/scenery shots. It might sound dull but it's surprisingly engaging as it takes us into the story of Davi, the town and the Umbrella Killer. How it lead up to that massacre, and how the state of everything has been since.
Okay, I will bring out the critic in myself and say that there were times where the narration extended upon some things too much, and simply talked about some seemingly uninteresting things at times and at these times it became easy to lose yourself in other thoughts. But considering the narration is the main driving force for this film I think it worked out extremely well overall. It's a long film if you consider the thin content (with a very thorough execution), but overall very short with its 55 minutes. It's very unique for the entire story to be a party we're arriving too late to, leaving us only with the aftermath, and that's what "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" is. A look at the world (town and the survivor) after an incident literally taken out of any slasher film.
I am very pleased with "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" because it offered something new, something I hadn't even thought about. Yet, now all I can think is what a great idea this is, and wondering how it took so long for it to be made! It's impossible to judge this according to typical film rules because they were dumped already in the scripting stage. The execution is great, so it's just a matter of understanding what makes this work or not. I don't even know if it comes down to taste in this case. But I dug it and hope to see more creative ways of telling a story from Joseph Larsen.