Friday Midnight Movie | ‘They’
They is a great little sleeper scare movie of the early 2000s. Of it’s period it’s a bit of a rarity, it’s not a Scream style parody and it’s not a remake. It also comes with some decent Deadly Movie heritage; director Robert Harmon bought us the outstanding Hitcher (1986) and leading lady Laura Regan was hot off her first Final Girl performance in My Little Eye (2002) and has subsequently built up a bit of a Deadly Movie CV which includes Hollow Man 2 (2006), Dead Silence (2007), and How to be a Serial Killer (2008). One note of caution, it comes ‘presented’ by Wes Craven, who it seems had absolutely nothing to do with the making of the film on any level pre or post. That saying, ‘presenting’ often means that a big name director is happy to put his name to the product to aid distribution, so we can take some comfort in the knowledge that Craven would seem to like this.
At it’s core They has a clever and relatable theme – being afraid of the dark. Children who were terrorised by ‘night terrors’ (these are the They if you see what i mean) are revisited by their demons as twenty-somethings. What are ‘They’? They are CG grayish nocturnal quadrupeds who exist in the eternal darkness of a sort of nightmarish other dimension…, I think. The night terrors can only exist in the dark, and therein the film does well to prey on our primal fears of the dark, it’s unknown, and it’s isolating properties. There are a few very tense scenes as all sources of light begin to fail around the film’s victims. It’s a fairly blood and gore free affair, going for sustained tension and shocks instead. There’s also an effective ending to be had and the DVD version comes with an equally interesting alternative ending. It’s not remarkable groundbreaking stuff by any means, but i bet you think twice about turning the light off when you go to bed afterwards!