I know firsthand the stresses a new baby can bring to any family. Especially a first child. The constant, never ending attention needed by the infant - combined with a lack of sleep, is tough enough for near anyone. The real game changer however, are the massive life changes that have to be made. Every single thing, right down to simple movie nights, become all the more difficult. It does get easier as time moves on, on many different levels. Yet different challenges are always placed front and center, as the years go on. For most though, it's still the initial first and even second year that is the hardest. This is the main idea "Something" plays with right out of the gate. Stress... and "Something" does a fantastic job playing with this element.
For this particular married couple, the two thought they knew what to expect. It was going to be hard. No question. That new bundle of joy however, would make it all worth it. Completing their family - living the dream. And yet the hype surrounding the difficulty when parenting a new born quickly becomes apparent. It's not just physically tough. It's also a brutally effective mental exercise. For this couple however, the hardships of parenting are just the start of their harrowing experience. As the days push on, evidence of an intruder becomes more and more apparent. Someone... or something that seems to relish in their torture has entered their lives. Nothing overtly dangerous at first... random things being moved. Maybe a shadowy glance, captured briefly from the corners of our heroes eyes. Almost like a childhood fear. That monster hiding under the bed, always just out of direct sight.
Eventually, as one would expect, the lives of this tormented family become a jumbled mess - as us viewers are left with one burning question. Is all of this a stress induced hallucination? Some form of shared hallucination maybe? Or is something else going on here. Maybe even something sinister? Stephen Portland, who wrote and directed, gladly bundles you up and takes you for a ride in this indie thriller. "Something" may not be perfect, but definitely doesn't disappoint.
This next section is mainly technical. For anyone wishing to read my final thoughts, just skip to the end where I've given my overall humble opinion.
The technical aspects of "Something" are somewhat harder to break down and explain. For me anyhow. The visuals themselves are clear and crisp. "Something" is a well shot, well lit production that doesn't suffer the normal, micro budget trademarks. Those being poor visuals that look micro budget. So what does that leave? The edit itself. For the most part, this film has a nice, fluid pacing allowing the key aspects of the story to shine through. Generally speaking, the edit is actually pretty good. Yet there is one major issue... the fades. Within the first twelve or thirteen minutes, I counted at least five "fade to black" transitions. They never let up for the rest of the film, and were huge distractions. Most movies generally only use one or two of these throughout the entire length. If any at all. I see this a lot with indie films, and just using a straight cut instead of a fade usually does wonders. For any that care to dig in a little deeper, we have a short write-up on transitions right here. A quick read focusing on their "traditional" uses.
Coming back to the editing, sort of, "Something" did feel a little long. Clocking in at around an hour and a half, I was forced to ask myself why? I came up with little answers I could clearly define. I can write that the first twenty plus minutes were very slow. A lot of exposition, and not much else. It's not until much later in the film that "Something" truly earns it's stars. Cutting a few minutes from the first act would really go a long way when it comes to the pacing. "Something" has a lot to offer, but only if the viewer sticks around to see it.
Aside from that? I noticed a few odd sounding performances dialog-wise. I'm pretty sure a lot of this film was re-recorded and synced up. At least it felt that way. Not a big deal however. Hardly worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, this was a really good film. Once things really start to heat up, very quickly you'll find yourself hooked. The general lead-up - and plot itself - were excellent with an ending that I absolutely loved. Of all the possible endings I was conjuring up in my head, I never saw this one coming. My advice to any potential viewers? Give this one a few extra minutes and you'll be glad you did. By all accounts, a respectable two and a half stars. Nothing wrong with that at all.