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Film / Tiger House

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Tiger House is an English-language thriller film directed by Thomas Daley and starring Kaya Scodelario, Dougray Scott, and Ed Skrein.

Kelly (Scodalerio) is a tough gymnast trying to get her life back on track after a Career-Ending Injury. One night she sneaks into her boyfriend Mark's (Daniel Boyd) family home; but she's not the only one with designs on the house that evening. A gang led by Shane (Dougray Scott) and Callum (Skrein) has come to abduct Mark's stepfather and force him to carry out a robbery on the cash depot that he manages.

Kelly instantly becomes the one unknown element in the gang's meticulously planned heist. As the next 12 hours unfold she must use every reserve of skill and courage to outwit and overpower her four highly trained advesaries.


  • #1 Dime: Kelly carries the crossbow bolt responsible for her Career-Ending Injury around with her in her bag. She calls it her 'bad luck charm'. Her boyfriend keeps telling her to get rid of it, and she keeps promising to but never does. It becomes a Chekhov's Gun in the second half of the movie when she is in desperate need of a weapon.
  • Batter Up!: When Mark hears the gang invade the house, he picks up a cricket bat and goes to investigate. More through blind luck than skill, he knocks Shane into a mirror where he gets stabbed by a shard of glass. Callum later uses the bat to bludgeon Lynn's lover to death.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Kelly shoots one of the gang with a crossbow and then tackles him into the swimming pool. Blood from his wound slowly spills into the water.
  • Bound and Gagged: Except when they need them, the gang keeps their hostages bound and gagged with zip ties and duct tape.
  • Building of Adventure: Apart from the prologue, the action takes entirely inside Mark's family home or its grounds.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Kelly's promising career as a gymnast is ended when her boyfriend Mark accidentally shoots her in the leg with a crossbow.
  • Ceiling Cling: Kelly does this to hide at the top of the shower when Callum enters the bathroom to wash the blood off after he murders Lynn's lover.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: After considerable effort, Kelly manages to retrieve her cell phone from her bag and drag it into her hiding place under the bed. She composes a text message requesting help and and is about to send it when the battery dies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A two-part one consisting of:
    • The crossbow Mark shoots Kelly in the leg with during the prologue; and
    • The quarrel the doctors removed from Kelly's leg, which Mark finds when he searches her bag. She describes it as her 'bad luck charm'.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Die Hard in a Big Fancy House.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: After disposing of one of the gang, Kelly puts on his gas mask to conceal her identity and the raps on the window and gestures to lure Callum outside.
  • Enter Stage Window: Kelly gets into her boyfriend Mark's bedroom by climbing up the trellis and going through his window. It is implied that this is her usual way of entering because Mark's mother does not approve of her and she usually tries to come and go without being seen.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Apart from the prologue showing Kelly's injury, the events of the film take 12 hours.
  • Fiery Cover-Up: Callum is planning to burn Mark's room (and, by extension) the rest of the house to destroy all traces of Shane's blood (and DNA) and any other evidence they leave behind.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Shane did two tours of duty with Callum's father. It is implied that it was the other man's death from cancer that inspired Shane to leave the military and take up a life of crime.
  • I Have Your Wife: The gang hold Mark and his mother hostage to ensure his stepfather's compliance in the cash depot robbery.
  • Impersonating an Officer: One of the gang dresses as a police officer to accompany Mark's stepfather to the cash depot. This causes Mark's mother to mistake him for a real police officer when he returns to the house after the robbery.
  • Inside Job: During the climax, it is revealed that rather being a hostage, Mark's stepfather is actually a partner in the robbery, and is the inside man in the cash depot.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: The volatile Callum has only been out of prison for a few weeks and says he has no intention of ever going back He's right, but not in the way he meant.
  • Kick the Dog: Before they launch their home invasion, the gang kills the family dog so it cannot bark and give away their presence.
  • Last Breath Bullet: Shane saves Kelly by shooting Callum just as he is about to shoot her, and then expires.
  • Mercy Kill: Shane describes to Kelly how he smothered Callum's father with a Vorpal Pillow when the other man was dying of cancer.
  • Not So Great Escape: Kelly hides under Mark's bed when the crooks invade the house, then becomes trapped there when Shane is badly wounded and his comrades lay him down on the bed. She eventually uses an alarm clock to distract Shane and Callum long enough to make it the few feet from the bed to the door.
  • Outfit Decoy: Kelly escapes from Callum in the attic by draping her hoodie over a mannequin as a decoy.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The gang members returning from the robbery run into Mark and his mother during their abortive escape attempt, and one of them clubs Mark into unconsciousness withe the butt of his shotgun.
  • The Place
  • Protect This House: Kaya Scodelario stars as an injured and pregnant gymnast who must defend her boyfriend's house against a home invasion.
  • Pyromaniac: Callum is sent to fetch bleach and cloth to wipe down Mark's room to remove all trace of Shane's blood. Instead, Callum returns with petrol cans and announces the best way to remove all trace is to burn the room. Shane remarks that Callum has always been a little too fond of setting fire to things.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Following her fight upstairs, Kelly stares at her now Unkempt Beauty, with dishevelled hair and other people's blood smeared across her face. It looks like this trope is in play when she picks up a bottle and slams it into the exact centre of her reflection: smashing the mirror. However, she then starts carefully picking the fragments of mirror out of the frame: taking the largest of them and wrapping it in a towel. It is then revealed that she actually broke the mirror so she would have something sharp enough to cut the zip-ties on the Bound and Gagged hostages.
  • Right Behind Me: Mark's stepfather is about to shoot Kelly and delivers a Motive Rant about how all he wanted was enough money to be free of debt and mortgages and live peacefully on a boat somewhere, without his harpy of a wife and her idiot son. He then discovers that his wife is standing behind with a shotgun. She shoots him.
  • Self-Harm: After killing Lynn's lover, Callum heats the blade of his knife and presses the hot metal against his forearm and some form of penance/control mechanism. The identical scars on his arm indicate this is not the first time he has done this.
  • Shear Menace: Kelly attempts to stab Callum with the scissors she finds in the bathroom, but a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome ensues and the small scissors do almost no damage to him.
  • Shovel Strike: Mark's stepfather hits Kelly over the head from behind with a shovel when she is about to kill Callum.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Callum pauses in his search for Kelly, despite the fact that she knows his name and has seen his face, in order to make a sandwich.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kelly presence in the house was the one thing the gang had not bargained for.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Kelly throws Mark's alarm clock (one of the ones built into a ball and designed to be thrown against a wall to turn it off) across the room, where it beeps and distracts Shane and Callum long enough for her to make her Not So Great Escape from under the bed to the bedroom door.
  • Undercover When Alone: Kelly finds Mark's stepfather tied up with a bag over his head in the back of the robber's van. However, it is later revealed that he is actually the inside man for the robbery. While making it appear he was a hostage would have useful during the getaway, one would think they would untie him once they got back to the house.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Shane tells Kelly he performed a Mercy Kill on Callum's father, who was dying of cancer, by smothering him with a pillow.