Have you ever been trapped indoors because of a passing storm? You’ve probably experienced it at least once in your lifetime, and if you’re lucky, you got out of it unscathed. However, not everyone is that lucky. Being trapped indoors with your family while your rations run out and there doesn’t seem any development or hope of getting out can be quite the daunting task. That’s What We Need To Do Something is all about.
We Need to Do Something is a 2021 psychological horror film that features a family trapped in a bathroom waiting for a tornado to pass. Directed by Sean King O’Grady, the film is an adaptation of a horror novel of the same name written by Max Booth III, who also wrote the film.
‘We Need to Do Something’ Plot Summary – Trapped by a Tornado
The film opens with eerie music playing over an overhead shot of a small town. The atmosphere is dark with a hint of impending doom. We cut to a family that’s locking itself inside a room, discussing whether or not the storm is an EF5 level tornado or just a regular thunderstorm. As the storm gets worse, the daughter Melissa starts freaking out, while her younger brother Bobby and mother Diane try to pass the time playing games. When the lights go out, the father, Robert, borrows Melissa’s phone to see what the matter is, only to find that they’re trapped indoors by a fallen tree that’s blocking the door. In the chaos of the downpour, he accidentally drops Melissa’s phone.
The following day, they realize that all their phones are dead. They try to ration out whatever water and food (including Listerine and other things they can find in the medicine cabinet) is at their disposal, waiting to be rescued. Still, it soon becomes evident that there is something wrong. Enough time has passed, and none of the neighbors have come to check on them. It would mean that either the neighbors are all dead, or they’ve already been evacuated, leaving behind just one family.
What horrors lie in store for this family trapped by a tornado? Watch the movie to find out.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
A Strong Premise Diluted By Too Many Elements
The film starts out really strong. The nightmarish atmosphere is quickly established, and we’re thrown right in the middle of it. The atmosphere continues to remain discomforting throughout the film. The makers have used some creative liberty in the first 20 minutes or so of the film. Sadly, there are too many elements introduced which dilute the experience. For example, the whole incident with the snake felt a little gimmicky, not in theory but in execution. Melissa’s backstory with Amy, her partner who indulged in black magic, added a whole supernatural layer to the film that it didn’t need.
In introducing the black magic storyline and hinting at the tornado being Melissa and Amy’s fault, the film completely loses its hold over the claustrophobia nightmare it had started out as and becomes just another ordinary horror film with cheap gore. In a film like this, the characters are of utmost importance, and therefore the performances hold a huge responsibility. Sadly, neither did the characters feel as layered and interesting, nor did the performances stand out as exceptional.
Overall, the film starts well but quickly falls flat owing to the many unnecessary elements it introduces going forward.
‘We Need to Do Something’ Ending Explained – Was Amy Really Behind Everything?
In the end, the father finds Melissa’s phone ringing and answers it. After disconnecting the call, he blames her for everything. He tries to kill her, resulting in the mother and daughter fighting him and Melissa stabbing him in the back (literally). After an undisclosed amount of time, the mother manages to scrape an opening and crawls out of the bathroom. Melissa wakes up to find Amy, who summons some kind of weird blood veins out of her bleeding cuts and attacks Melissa.
The mother returns, covered in blood, and the two sit in the bathroom, traumatized. The last shot has them suddenly turn towards the opening as something enters.
The way this film started, I genuinely thought it was going to be a metaphor for Melissa’s homosexuality with the family (her true self) stuck in the bathroom (stuck in the closet) trying to get out (of the closet). Sadly, the supernatural elements introduced work entirely against the film. It would have been a riveting experience to see the characters go insane and imagine the supernatural. Still, the film does too hard to convince us that the supernatural is the actual story.
So, if we’re to accept that, then Amy and Melissa’s black magic ritual really did unleash an evil demon that’s destroying the world. Either that or Melissa is dying after Amy slit her wrist during the ritual. The film is about her dying fever dream where she feels like she’s failed her family. Sadly, too much evidence works against any interpretation, and we’re forced to go with the supernatural demon explanation.
We Need to Do something has a promising premise. The plot and story are good enough to make it an entertaining watch. Unfortunately, there are many elements in the film that just don’t fit. In exploring the characters’ backstories, the film only spreads itself thin. I can see them working well in the book, but they only act in canceling each other on film. This film tries to do everything you’d expect in a successful horror film. Still, it fails at having the cinematic depth of Kubrick or the poetic absurdity of Lanthimos.
This one’s a one-time-watch at best.
We Need to Do Something is a 2021 Psychological Horror Film directed by Sean King O’Grady. It is based on horror novella written by Max Booth III.