This film begins with a surly teen (Neil) being driven by his father back home. The conversation they have is vague, but it is clear that a) the boy has been staying with an aunt for a couple years ever since he caused some kind of horrible accident at home, b) his relationship with his father is strained at best, and c) he has a younger brother named "Paulie" that he misses and worries about. He gets home, and as soon as he sees his old house, his eyes widen and his face locks in a sort of sexy-ish version of freaked out (get used to this facial expression), the camera zooms in on him and zooms in on the house and zooms in on him and tilts at a threatening angle and you hear a bunch of brass instruments (tubas and the like) bellow a bombastic "BWAAAAAAAARRRRRMMMMM!" in the soundtrack, letting viewers know that this is scary. This house. Or something.
He has some of the world's most awkward conversations with some of the world's flattest characters, giving them all a hearty dose of barely-strained surliness before he decides to go into the house to see Paulie. He steps up to the entrance to the door. His eyes grow dark and wide and freaked out, the camera frames him in a bad boy pose as he hesitates before the entrance, and the soundtrack clobbers you with another "BWAAAAAAAARRRRRRRMMMMMM!"
This kind of thing happens, by my count, another twenty to fifty times. I can see why the filmmakers did it. It is very addictive. Whenever I do anything in my apartment now, I scream, "BWAAAAAARRRRRRMMMMM!" to preface it. I open the cabinet for some soup? "BWAAAAAARRRRRRMMMMM!" I get out the can opener? "BWAAAAAARRRRRMMMMM!" It drives my girlfriend up the wall.
This movie thinks it's scary, and it lets you know from frame one. It is not. It barely even makes sense. Neil and Paulie are afraid of some kind of bloodthirsty, otherworldly creature that lives under Neil's bed. Where did it come from? What does it want? To what rules does its universe adhere? Who knows! Certainly not the movie. There are hints here and there, but mostly it's just bizarre pointlessness that crumbles under the slightest analysis, like some kind of ultra-buttery Jenga stack.
It's not just the creature that makes no sense. Our father character goes nuts like a prison hoe-down at the drop of a hat. Neil seems to have some kind of split personality disorder, and the script can't decide what age Paulie is supposed to be. Other characters -- the bullies, the love interest, the step mother -- may as well just be cardboard cutouts with articulated jaws.
When the monster finally stops playing peek-a-boo and starts getting all up in everyone's faces, the film gets the burst of energy and "holy crap!"-itude that it has wanted to have from the first BWAAAAAAARRRRRRRRMMMMMMMM! Of course, the monster's sudden attack of moxie also doesn't make any sense given the meager exposition we've been fed, but by that point you're likely not to care, grateful just to be spared another excruciatingly vague conversation or completely out-of-the-blue familial yelling match. The heck-raising doesn't last long, though, and it is aborted -- true to form -- in ludicrous, head-scratching style, with not even a smidgen of closure. You'd think out of respect to the audience that they'd reveal something to tie up one of the dozens of loose ends, or fill in just a few of the massive logical gaps, but nope.
Although, to be fair, the final shot of the movie DOES have an extra long BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRMMMMMMM! over it, so I guess you take what you can get.