Don't Blink (2014)
March 25, 2020 7:57 PM - Subscribe

Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge.

A tense, high concept, low budget horror thriller about the antithesis of social distancing. If you're intrigued, don't watch the trailer, as it is unforgivably spoilery. First time writer/director, Travis Oates, hits one out of the park with his debut feature, Don’t Blink. A deceptively simple story about a group of ten friends who get together for a weekend getaway at a mountain resort, only to discover that there isn’t anybody there when they arrive. Upon further investigation, they discover food left on the dinner table & the house seems to have been abandoned in a hurry. There also isn’t any sign of life surrounding them at all – no birds, fish, insects…nothing. It’s as if everything just vanished. Not helping matters is the fact that they’re basically out of gas, so they can’t drive away from the resort & there’s no cell phone service. […] The circumstances the group discovers once they arrive at the resort might seem bland at first, but Oates has written a script that manages to make the mundane pretty damned creepy.

Available to watch free with ads at:
Amazon Prime Video

(h/t Scattercat for the recommendation)
posted by ejs (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ha! I am amused.

I haven't rewatched it recently, but I remember enjoying it a fair amount, especially once it started escalating. I also want to do a shoutout for the song that plays over the closing credits, which is unexpectedly good yet bizarre and disconnected in a way I haven't enjoyed since "(My Head is Like a) Shark's Fin."
posted by Scattercat at 4:11 PM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

This was a pretty good little example of the sort of genre I think of "a bit overstretched Twilight Zone episode that would have worked better as a more aggressively edited shorter piece in an anthology flick." My main armchair feedback to the writer/director would have been--title drop a single time, at the end, instead of occurrences of "don't blink!" being a minor drinking game.

But a good time! The actors hurled themselves into their simple roles with cheerful unselfconscious going-for-it (I especially loved an early bit of dude wanting to aggressively angry-alpha-ape-display shoulder-check-walkthrough other guy and then instantly backing down from the thought and awkwardly shuffling around him instead--that was just great silent physical acting). And pretty good focusing of audience attention on what you knew early on to look out for..

Thanks for the recommendation!
posted by Drastic at 8:26 AM on March 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

An intriguing premise, but the execution was so bland that the only reason to keep watching was to find out if the film had a satisfying conclusion. And by conclusion I do mean explanation. And... it didn’t.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:58 PM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

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