We Need to Do Something (2021) | Explanation, Recommendations & Spoilers | Film Review
We Need to Do Something (2021) is an American horror film directed by Sean King O'Grady and written by Max Booth III. It is based on the novella of the same name written by Max Booth III. The film stars Sierra McCormick, Vinessa Shaw, Pat Healy, John James Cronin and Lisette Alexis. It was released in the United States on September 3, 2021 and distributed by IFC Films. We Need to Do Something (2021) is currently available on streaming services Amazon Prime, Vudu, Apple TV and YouTube.
In the beginning of the film, we follow Melissa (Sierra McCormick) as she makes her way home. A storm is fast approaching and just as Melissa gets to her house, she sees her parents arguing through the front windows of the house. It seems as if this is nothing new to Melissa and she goes inside to get out of the storm.
The entire family heads into the bathroom as there are tornado watch and warning alerts in the area. Melissa and her father, Robert (Pat Healy), seem to be aggravated about being stuck in the bathroom with their family, while her younger brother, Bobby (John James Cronin), and her mother, Diane (Vinessa Shaw), seem to be trying to make the best out of the situation.
Melissa seems preoccupied with getting ahold of her friend, Amy (Lisette Alexis). She also has a cut on her wrist which seems to be irritated and inflamed, but we are not sure yet what the cut on her wrist has to do with the storm and her friend Amy, although they all seem connected in some way.
As the storm continues, Robert seems increasingly agitated, which obviously worries the entire family. Robert does not come across as a calm, rational individual and as the film progresses, it becomes clear why: Robert is an alcoholic.
After some time, the family feels and hears a huge crash in the master bedroom, which is right next to the bathroom. Robert tries to open the bathroom door, only to find that a tree from the backyard has fallen into the master bedroom, blocking their only exit.
The family begins to panic and try their hardest to get out of the bathroom, only to slowly come to the conclusion that they are trapped until someone comes to help them. Being in a suburban neighborhood, they are calmed by the fact that their neighbors are close and someone will eventually see they are in trouble and come to help. However, as time goes by and no one comes to help them, they question what is really going on outside and if anyone will come to help them before they die of starvation.
A few nights in, they hear what seems to be a dog outside. Excited, Bobby opens the bathroom door and pets the dog, telling Melissa the dog has fur and is licking his hand. Melissa, delighted that there is a dog outside, goes to pet the dog too, but after a short time petting the dog, it begins to talk in a scary human voice. Terrified, Melissa tries to take her hand back, but the dog won't let go. As she screams and struggles with whatever is outside, she eventually gets free by ripping out its tongue.
The thing outside screams and runs off and Melissa brings the tongue inside and puts it in the sink. She washes it off and it is still pulsing (now how gross is that?). She tells her family they need to eat, so she cuts off a piece and eats it. She manages to keep it down and hands pieces to everyone else, but everyone else throws it up.
The rest of the film follows Melissa and her family as they try to stay alive and figure out the mystery of the storm and what really is going on outside their home.
If You Like This Film, You May Also Like:
Gretel & Hansel (2020)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
I Trapped the Devil (2020)
The House of the Devil (2009)
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
*Discussion contains spoilers
It seems that the storm is not a natural storm and we learn via flashbacks that Melissa's friend Amy is actually her girlfriend and they performed a ritual just before the storm. It turns out Amy has a belief that she has always been dead and used to cut her arms in order to feel as if she was alive.
One day, Amy and Melissa were outside behind a building kissing and a fellow student who was obsessed with Amy started filming Amy and Melissa kissing. Melissa and Amy chased the boy off, but he started nasty rumors about Amy and Melissa and the girls wanted him to stop. They decided to perform a ritual to make him stop talking, but the ritual backfired when the boy choked to death on his own tongue.
Melissa and Amy thought the ritual went wrong because they used a dog tongue instead of a cow's tongue, so they thought any future rituals would go well because they would follow the directions to the letter.
We learn that the night before the storm, Amy and Melissa performed a ritual to rid Amy of feeling that something was inside of her, making her feel dead. They found the ritual online and basically the ritual said that the friends of the one who was possessed would be safe while the world went to hell with violent storms. Amy cut Melissa's wrist for the ritual, explaining the irritated and inflamed cut on Melissa's wrist. When Melissa left to go home after the ritual, she continued to try to reach Amy and did not ever get a response back. Melissa realized that something must've gone wrong with the ritual and they may have unleashed something that destroyed their world.
By the end of the film, Robert has run out of alcohol and is going through withdrawals, making him increasingly volatile and violent. At one point, he tries to force Bobby through the four inch gap in the door and a rattlesnake gets in the bathroom. Bobby gets bit and eventually dies of the bite. Robert loses all sense of what is right and wrong and tries to eat Bobby in order to survive. Diane gets into a violent fight with Robert over this disgusting and severely disturbing offense and Robert tries to kill Diane. Melissa stabs Robert to death and falls into a deep sleep afterwards.
After Melissa falls asleep, Diane works on the wall of the bathroom to try and open it up to escape. She eventually gets through and tells a sleeping Melissa that she's going to go outside. It is pitch black outside and the prospect of Diane going out alone is frightening. Melissa has a dream about Amy and sees Amy in the bathroom with cuts all over her arms, bleeding. Tentacles start coming out of the cuts and Melissa wakes up, terrified.
Melissa looks around and sees a hole in the bathroom wall and discovers that her mother is missing. Diane comes back a short time later, covered in blood. She asks Melissa if she saw Amy and Melissa tells her mother yes. It is not clear what Diane saw while outside, but it is obvious she is terrified and in shock. It seems that the ritual worked, but not how Melissa and Amy imagined. Whatever was possessing Amy wanted out so it could wreak havoc on the world and the last safe place is the bathroom. The film ends there and we are left wondering what will happen to Melissa and her mother, Diane.
I really liked this film. I'm not usually a fan of gory films, but I felt the gore in this film was warranted even though it grossed me out. I read the novella after I watched the film and felt that both were very good. The book gave me a little more insight into the rituals and why they didn't work and I felt that Robert was a little more sympathetic than in the movie.
I liked that the film made you feel as if you weren't safe anywhere. At first, it seemed like the right thing to do was escape, especially with Robert's inability to deal with stress and his withdrawal from alcohol and the fact that they did not have any food. Then, after Melissa tore out the "dog's" tongue, going outside seemed like the worse option. It was very much like in 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), where you're damned if you stay and damned if you leave.
Some people might have a problem with the ambiguous ending and the lack of monsters that you are able to see, but I am okay with ambiguous endings. You don't know what will happen to Melissa and Diane, but it leaves it up to the viewer to decide if they make it or not. They could learn to survive, go short distances to find food and bring it back to the bathroom or they could die either in the bathroom or outside.
Personally, I think at least Melissa would survive since the ritual stated that Amy's friends would be safe. The tree didn't fall directly on the bathroom and the dog thing didn't take Melissa's hand. All of the things going on outside seemingly killed most of the people in the area, if not on the Earth and for Melissa to survive makes it seem like she could survive through most things.
Have you seen this film or read the novella? What did you think? Do you plan on watching it? Please share your thoughts below!