Let's face it. When it comes to the holiday season there is nothing more rewarding then a good old fashion house theft flick. From HOME ALONE to FRIDAY AFTER NEXT yuletide time allows for family vacations and empty houses. In Maria Bissell's HOW TO DETER A ROBBER we find a family "on vacation" that happens to be in the middle of current crime spree. The hilarity that ensues is only matched by the fortuitous violence that manifests in the latter portions of the film. HTDAR will be an instant hit and fan favorite for all to enjoy the holiday season time and time again.
The dynamic of the family in HTDAR is entertaining from the start but the film is centered more around our young co stars Vanessa Marano and Benjamin Papac. Chris Mulkey plays the uncle to round them out like only he can. The trio are put to task and really allow so many funny moments just in conversation that the viewers will be fixated. Don't be surprised if a few drinking games are created from HTDAAR as multiple views of the film become ever so more rewarding.
The strange thing about HTDAR is when the violence starts to rear it's ugly head your are instantly reminded that the film involves a crime. That's the great thing about a well written dark comedy is you allow the darkness to surround you in the film unexpectedly because there is so much fun to be had. Films like UNCLE NICK, BETTER WATCH OUT and the like proves you can have candid holiday thriller without involving any fictional big horned creatures looking to kidnap little kids. It's obvious why HOW TO DETER A ROBBER made so much noise at festivals like FANTATIC FEST this year as it was more than a welcoming distraction. HTDAR will have you in tears and for once in 2020 that is a good thing.
4.5 / 5
HOW TO DETER A ROBBER
Writer/Director: Maria Bissell
Cast: Vanessa Marano, Benjamin Papac, Chris Mulkey, Jonah Ray, Gabrielle Carteris