From the files of "this is why we watch the entire movie," we have the micro-budgeted and seemingly aimless Entrance, which (if you're not patient) may seem like one of the driest and most uneventful horror flicks you've seen in a while. If, however, you're willing to focus on the little details and simply surrender to the filmmakers' sparse little character study, you'll be rewarded with a rather shocking third act that makes a lot of the waiting worthwhile.
Co-written and directed by Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath, Entrance is a no-frills piece about a young woman named Suzie, and how she slowly falls out of love with big city living. Stuck in a go-nowhere job and saddled with a redundant lifestyle, Suzie reaches her breaking point once her beloved dog goes missing. Since we're already aware that Entrance is some sort of scary tale, we can assume that there's something unpleasant afoot. Meanwhile Suzie putters through her dull days, and I do mean dull, and eventually she decides she needs a change of scenery. She needs to move out of the city.
But one of her buddies doesn't like the idea. By the time Entrance finally gets down to the horror, you couldn't be blamed for being a bit frustrated: although interesting in a firmly "plain Jane" sense, there's not much to Suzie that seems to warrant this sort of attention, but clearly she has an admirer who doesn't want her to leave town. The low-key creeper of a horror flick builds to a head at Suzie's going-away party, and that's when Entrance goes from "ugh, get to it already" to "hey, this is actually pretty effective."
Suffice to say that, yes, there's a killer on the loose, but Entrance finds a slightly novel way to reframe the slasher conceit: we stick with Suzie the whole time. We see the clues of an insidious nature before she does; we predict that something is amiss at the goodbye party; and we're right there on Suzie's shoulder as she deals with one true night from hell. No cutaways to random kills or subplots about slow-thinking policemen; just a flat, basic, approach that focuses on Suzie, and never shows us anything she doesn't see. This is the approach that won me over to Entrance after, truth be told, I was getting a little weary of its aggressively monotone slow burn style.
But thanks to a fine extended payoff and a simple, honest performance from Suziey Block, the scrappy Entrance lands on the plus side of the scale. Reminiscent in some ways of Ti West's recent exercises in teasing suspense (that's a compliment), Entrance might not be the most exciting or eventful indie horror flick you'll see this month, but it's indicative of some filmmakers interested in something more than the same old body count stuff.