Sometimes a little mayhem can be a nice distraction. And, my oh my, is there a lot of distraction to be had in this film. Some well-timed and thought through scares as well. But what sets it apart from pure splatter is that it at least attempts to create more of a story beyond the pointless slaughter of a couple families isolated in the woods “just cause.” And it does have a sense of humor. Not on the same level as Cabin in the Woods, but it has its moments.
What is interesting, as well, is that a good part of the slaughter itself is actually just off-frame. The results are lovingly filmed, but the moment of impact is often left to your cringing imagination. It is a nice call back to the days of Hitchcock and away from the splatter-porn approach of seeing the puncture of flesh and crunching of bone in extreme close-up.
All that said, the script is not going to win any awards, nor is most of the acting based on it. Only Vinson, relatively unknown outside of Australia, has any real arc or clear character. Her journey is rather compelling and full of surprises. The rest are, sadly, all stock cliches.
If you’re in the need for some cathartic gore, this is not a bad choice. If you need some suspense and story with your carnage, something like The Purge may be more for you.