Written by Simon Lewis and directed by Thomas Daley (His first feature length film.) Tiger House is a David (or Kelly) and Goliath tale. A low budget action thriller that has some real nail biting moments in it. Filmed in South Africa, the movie is about home invasion and a girl struggling to survive. It is intimate, almost claustrophobic, and will keep the viewer on the edge of their seat.
The film starts with two young people in the countryside. The boy has a crossbow. The girl talks of gymnastics and competing. As the lad shows off the loaded weapon he shoots his girlfriend by accident.
Much later, the wound has healed but the girl; Kelly (Kaya Scodelario) no longer competes. She now stacks shelves in a grocery store but still dates her rich boyfriend. As the two talk, his house is invaded by robbers who want the father to lead them to a fortune. The boy and his mother are tied up, but only after the leader of the gang is wounded.
Kelly hides under the bed and Shane (Dougray Scott) the injured leader is brought to the bedroom where she has taken shelter. Half of the gang take off with the father and the rest stay to monitor the robbery. Soon they discover that there is another person in the house.
This is a prolonged game of very deadly hide and seek. Kelly must resort to any means to survive and in the end, she must become like the men who search for her. The character is not a bigger than life heroine, Kelly just goes with the tide when it changes.
Tiger House has some interesting elements in it. The family’s home has a slew of indoor CCTV cameras that are used initially by the gang and later by Kelly. The action is satisfying and the female protagonist is one the audience gets behind all the way.
With an 80 minute run time the film cracks along at a fast pace that never lags. Tension is built up quickly with each new scenario and Daley keeps things interesting throughout. Three are some satisfying twists and turns and the film has a decent ending.
The ever busy Scottish actor, Scott makes an interesting “veteran” robber and Scodelario makes her character come to life. The film manages to prove that even a mansion, can be claustrophobic when it becomes a cage.
The film looks splendid. The setting is meant to be Surrey, England but was filmed outside of Cape Town in South Africa. It certainly passes for Surrey and the set design and the locations were brilliant.
Tiger House is a solid 3.5 star film. It delivers a great sense of danger to the film’s protagonist and there are plenty of white knuckle moments. This is a great first feature length film effort by Daley. The cast all deliver and the film entertains.
It is streaming on Netflix at the moment. Take a look at the trailer and then decide if it is your cup of tea or not.