Horror films that adopt a "locked-in" location can be a creative way for a low-budget filmmaker to show their chops. Trapping characters in a room is a dicey prospect though. The challenge is to keep things moving. It takes finesse and technical creativity to keep things from getting stale. Director Sean King O'Brady does a nice job initially keeping things interesting but as We Need To Do Something hits its second act, the film stalls despite a solid cast.
The film opens with on a picturesque suburb as a storm approaches and a tornado siren blares. A nuclear family is the focus here and O'Brady clearly wants to examine the dynamics of the "perfect home." There is short-tempered dad Robert (Pat Healy) who has a bit of a drinking problem. There is level-headed mom Diane (Vinessa Shaw) whose sole focus is to protect her children. There is the young son Bobby (John James Cronin) who is there solely to put a kid in danger to add to the suspense.
As the family hunkers down in the bathroom until the storm passes, teen daughter Melissa (Sierra McCormick) joins them just in the nick of time. Melissa is a shock of bright red-dyed hair, a typical Gen-Z teen attached to her cellphone. However, she has a secret that we learn about in a series of flashbacks. When a tree falls outside and traps them in the bathroom, the family is locked in. O'Brady attempt to ratchet up the tension as the family dynamic is put to the test.
The trouble is that while tensions are high and the cast can all do a great job seeming to be in a panicked state, the suspense isn't really there. That is except for one truly chilling moment that could be called a jump scare but is more just a moment of shock. That moment, and trust me you will know which one I mean when you see the film, promises something far more supernatural and terrifying than the film delivers. The previously mentioned flashbacks reveal Melissa's romantic relationship with Amy (Lisette Alexis). Amy is into the Occult and seduces Melissa into performing an incantation. These flashbacks help deepen the plot and add a demonic spin on things but they don't reveal much about Melissa that ends up paying off.
Paralleling Melissa's doomed relationship with Amy is Robert and Diane's marriage. It becomes clear, in a very unsubtle and clichéd manner that Diane is having an affair. Robert is such an unlikeable character that you never once feel bad for him about this. In fact, it is unclear why these two people ever got married as Robert is such an asshole that he serves as the film's only real villain.
Now is it necessary for audiences to care about this family or even believe that they could be related to enjoy some genre fun? Not really but We Need To Do Something doesn't really deliver on the horror either. It promises something insane will eventually burst through the bathroom door and open the film up to a bonkers third act. That never happens and instead, a snake proves to be the film's once source of real tension and danger. The pacing in the middle act is particularly idle. When the film finally hits its climax, it feels like too little too late. This is a shame as the cast is all talented here.