We Need To Do Something Review - Horror in the Bathroom

Summary and Review of We Need to do Something

Robert: Pat Healey Diane: Vinessa Shaw Melissa: Sierra McCormick Bobby: John James Cronin Director: Sean King O’Grady Release: 2021

A family takes refuge from an impending storm in their spacious bathroom, seemingly the safest room in the house. While they occupy themselves until it passes, the daughter, Melissa (Sierra McCormick), tries and fails to contact her girlfriend, Amy, a mysterious character with whom Mel has recently met and fallen for. As the storm builds so do the tensions within the family, until there is a sudden explosion and they realise that a tree has crashed through the house and blocked their exit from the bathroom. 

From the off there are clear indications that this is a family in decline. The father, Robert (Pat Healy), is no role model husband or father and has an alcohol problem. Son Bobby (John James Cronin) clings to his mother, Diane (Vinessa Shaw), and Melissa seems estranged from both parents. Tellingly, rather than putting aside their differences and banding together to find a way out of the situation, Diane and Robert continue to spar viciously. 

One gathers that there is devastation beyond the bathroom which was caused by something other than extreme weather and we only gain a vague sense of the developing chaos without actually seeing anything. I wasn't really sure what was taking place and why, but maybe that was the point. Events within took centre stage and it seemed that the film is more about the horrors of the family interactions rather than what lurks outside. However, this distancing of a key horror element from the central plot had the effect of creating the cinematic version of a “cut-and-shut”. The pieces fit together, but not quite in the right way. 

There were some scenes that tipped “We Need to do Something” in favour of the description of horror, rather than psychological drama (a couple of them stomach churning with some darkly comic dialogue) but the family interactions were gripping, made all the more intense as, in the face of dwindling supplies and no sign of help arriving, Robert starts to unravel. As his behaviour becomes more erratic, he targets the individual family members in rather frightening ways. 

The tension is broken in places with Melissa's hallucinations and flashbacks centred around Amy, and it’s this that fleshes out the backstory. However, Amy’s hand in the disaster with her predilection for witchcraft and revenge felt as if it had been shoe-horned in after the event but it provided welcome break-out moments from the claustrophobia of the bathroom.

It’s an interesting take on family dynamics in a confined setting and the narrative is well-paced and decently scripted with good performances from the cast. Pat Healy is particularly convincing as a damaged but unlikable character, who seeks to dominate but lacks sufficient potency and humanity to be the patriarch thinks he is.

Worth a watch? Maybe, but don’t expect to be scared witless. As a portrayal of a family at war with itself it works reasonably well, if waywardly at times but there are stretches when, far from doing something, nothing very much is done at all. 

On a final note, watch out for a cameo from Ozzie Osborne. Check the credits if you don’t spot it.



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