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Film / He's Out There

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He's Out There is a 2018 Horror Film and Slasher Movie directed by Quinn Lasher, written by Mike Scannell, and starring Yvonne Strahovski, Anna Pniowsky, Abigail Pniowsky, Ryan McDonald, and Justin Bruening. Laura is headed down to the annual lake house vacation with her two young daughters, Kayla and Maddie, with her husband, Shawn, promising to show up that evening after business with an urgent client. Laura is helped with a recalcitrant gate lock by Owen, local resident and unofficial security for the area, who also mentions to her that her house used to be owned by another family, who left after their son, John, disappeared. Shortly after they arrive, Kayla and Maddie follow a trail of red yarn into the woods to find an unexpected surprise, and that evening, Laura and her daughters find themselves stalked by a murderous presence who seems motivated by family and the eerie story book that Kayla carries around about a mouse being pursued by the darkness...


This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: After an initial blunder with her cell phone, Laura consistently acts in a surprisingly smart fashion to try to escape the situation, although she is clearly willing to fight for her children.
  • An Axe to Grind: The killer's preferred weapon is his axe. Laura kills him with another axe.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: At one point, Laura is grabbed and yanked through the front door by the killer.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Early in the film, Laura leaves her cell phone in the car when she's carrying the luggage in, and the killer gets ahold of it.
  • The End... Or Is It?: As they drive off, one of the daughters notes that the killer's body isn't there anymore.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune:
    • "This Old Man" is played by the killer, John, to lure the daughters out of the house, and is later used to lure them into a trap.
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    • Also, the young girl narration of the storybook during the film is clearly meant to invoke this trope, taking a story about the riddle of a shadow and making it sound a great deal more malevolent.
  • The Load: While they've got good reason to do so, Laura's attempts to get her daughters to safety are repeatedly foiled by them deciding to throw a tantrum, screaming loudly and refusing to move.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The killer sports a shaped blank leather mask that is either stitched to his head, or made to look that way.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: None of the non-villainous men in the film survive.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: The storybook that Kayla carries around, later revealed to be from the lake house, has a few crude illustrations in it that Laura initially thought were penned by one of her daughters. Later, similar illustrations are added via taped pages that show the killer's actions during the film, and indicating that soon he'll kill them all.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: After Maddie comes down sick, and vomits up a bit of ribbon with the word "Hello" on it, Kayla admits that she and her sister found a "tea party" in the woods and Maddie ate one of the cupcakes. Kayla saved the other one, which has a green gel in it and a piece of ribbon with "Goodbye" on it.


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