Directed By: James Roday
Written By: James Roday & Todd Harthan
Treehouse is a part of Blumhouse’s Into The Dark series on Hulu. Some places list it as a television episode instead of a movie but I consider Into The Dark to be a series of straight to Hulu movies produced by Blumhouse as opposed to episodes of a television series. I can see the argument for classifying them the other way though.
This is the third Into The Dark film that I have watched and it is by far the worst. Which was a disappointment, I had high hopes for Treehouse. It’s directed by James Roday, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Roday is best known for playing Shawn on the TV show Psych. He also directed two of the best episodes of Psych’s run. One was a tribute to slasher movies that showed a real love for the genre, the other was a brilliant tribute to Hitchcock. When I found out that he was going to be making a horror movie produced by Blumhouse, I was all in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to expectations.
Treehouse wants to be a revenge film for the MeToo movement and it sort of is but then it sort of isn’t. The biggest problem with the film is that it doesn’t seem comfortable making a decision. Throughout the movie bold choices are made but then they are rolled back in moments that are supposed to be considered twists in the plot but they just feel like cop outs.
That’s not the only issue with Treehouse. It wants to be a revenge film but it doesn’t give us anyone to root for. The story is told from the perspective of Peter, who is a terrible human being. When the women come for their revenge, we have no idea who they are so it puts the audience in the awkward position of sympathizing with this guy. I don’t want to feel bad for Peter. Peter is the worst!
Poor choices aside, the movie isn’t a total failure. Technically it is okay. There are a few really nice shots, offset by a few shots that make it look like a made for TV movie. The entire cast is good and Jimmi Simpson is excellent as Peter. None of this is enough to make up for the massive flaws in Treehouse. I’m hoping James Roday makes something that delivers on the promise that was on display in Psych.