Reviewed by Adam Donato
Director of Bloodworth, Shane Dax Taylor burst back onto the scene with Masquerade. This thriller shows a wealthy family under attack as masked pair of thieves try to steal their precious artwork. Audiences are not left without star power in this under-the-radar flick. Bella Thorne, star of Shake it Up, leads this thriller as a kind bartender just trying to help some inebriated parents get home to their daughter. With a poster that proudly identifies itself as being produced by the same producer as Insidious and Split, does Steven Schneider produce a movie that lives up to those standards?
Now obviously this movie is not as good as Insidious or Split, but how bad is it? Pretty bad. The best thing that can be said about this movie is it has a merciful run time of exactly 80 minutes. While the movie does have things going on from start to finish, it is surprisingly such a drag. The parents don’t even get involved in the action until well over half of the movie, so the audience is left with fourteen-year-old actress Alyvia Alyn Lind trying to avoid the thieves in this giant house. Why this process takes a whole 80 minutes is beyond reason. How this episode of television is stretched to match the length of a full movie is borderline criminal.
Bella Thorne is definitely in the movie. The whole time the audience will be wondering why she is there and assume what the story doesn’t want one to assume. The rest of the cast is fine. Honestly, the best performance comes from Lind, who happens to be the only character worth rooting for. Watching her negotiate and combat the thieves is the most watchable part of the movie. The ending is satisfying in the sense that there is an explanation for why anything is happening, but also frustrating in the sense that nothing was really built on any kind of foundation of information.
It’s a good thing this movie is listed as a thriller and not as horror because it is not the least bit scary. The thieves have some kind of beekeeping masks on that changes their voices and every time they say something, it is laughable. At a bare minimum, the question of the movie is inherently thrilling. Will this little girl come out of this robbery alive? On that level, the story functions. That being said, little else does function in this movie.
While this thriller attempts to masquerade as a competent movie, audiences are sure to see through its mask. The resolution acts like it has more weight than the story deserves. While there is consistent action, it feels like nothing happens in the movie. It would be irresponsible to even recommend this to fans of Thorne as her role in the movie is quite possibly the most frustrating thing about it.
Masquerade hits theaters and VOD on July 30.