The Aggression Scale (2012)

Over the years Steven C. Miller has made a name for himself as a horror director. His first movie was the disappointing but yet entertaining, Automated Transfusion. He then went on to direct the Syfy original Scream of the Banshee and although that was nothing specials his next offering proved that he still had a lot to offer.

The Aggression Scale is the story about a mob boss (Ray Wise) who gets out of jail and finds that half a million of his money is gone. he hires four hit men to go and get it and wants them to do it loud and messy. The leader of these men is Lloyd (Dana Ashbrook) a ruthless killer who will do everything to get the money back. He ends up at the home of newlywed couple Maggie (Lisa Rotondi) and Bill (Boyd Kestner) and their two kids Lauren (Fabianna Therese) and Owen (Ryan hartwig). Things take a turn when the kids decide to go up against the four hit men and bloodshed ensues.

Miller has crafted a well-made and written movie. It is a nice and clever twist on the faded home invasion sub-genre. Miller’s eye for details is getting better and better with each passing film and has improved a lot as a director. The move moves at a fast pace and never drags as it keeps your attention throughout. The acting is okay for a movie of this budget but there a few things that were wrong with the movie mainly the lack of dialog.

I don’t think I have ever seen a movie were there where so many mute characters. All but Owen do talk but rarely and it doesn’t get annoying as it isn’t a silence that adds tension. It’s a silence of boredom as if the actors don’t have anything to do but walk around looking for two kids. Ashbrook is the only character worth investing in as he does a great job portray a vicious killer. Therese and Hartwig do their best but they are young and need a lot more experience.

Miller had a busy year in 2012 as he directed three movies that year and one of them was the great and unexpected horror movie Silent Night. The other one, Under the Bed is still making the festival circuit but should as good if not better than his previous work but for now The Aggression Scale is Miller defining moment. It is a great and excellent horror thriller that’s like a modern day Home Alone except with tons of blood and mayhem. Overall I recommend this to anyone who has like Miller’s previous work, 3 out of 5.


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