Alarmed (2023) Review
Alarmed is the latest original film from the streaming service Tubi. Regular readers may have noticed it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed one of those, and there’s a simple reason for that. Apart from Terror Train 2, which went to a different service here, they haven’t done anything that caught my attention lately. This sounded like it could be a decent home invasion thriller so I gave it a look.
Janet (Brittany Baker, The God of Death, An Acceptable Loss) and Sean (Pooch Hall, Ray Donovan: The Movie, But Deliver Us from Evil) are having marital issues. The fact their son Billy (Chris Whitcomb, Burial Ground Massacre, Pitching Tents) got busted for hacking some government networks and is back living with them 24/7 while he serves a sentence under house arrest isn’t helping matters.
They decide they need some time to themselves and plan a weekend getaway. And it might be their last opportunity for a while, Janet has just been promoted to CEO of Citadel Security, makers of high-tech security systems. Like the one in their home.
Writer/director Matthew Kohnen (Aaah! Zombies!!, The Funeral Guest) starts Alarmed off on a low-key, almost comedic note. We see father and son accidentally locking themselves out of the house and tripping the alarm getting back in. Going for a run, with Billy on a hoverboard, etc. If it wasn’t for a brief shot of someone planting a tracker on Janet’s car while she was at work you could easily think the film had been mislabeled.
The stereotypical characters don’t help either. Billy is the nerdy hacker who can get into Department of Defence computers but can’t get women to notice him. Sean is the ex-jock turned family man unemployed and struggling to be a househusband. He’s more concerned that his son is still a virgin than by his hacking activities. And Janet is a hard-working businesswoman who’s trying to hold it all together while still bringing too much of her work home with her. Sounds like a sitcom doesn’t it?
That changes when mom and dad see intruders Andrew (Eric Lutes, The Manor, Vault), Coltrane (David Gere, The Assault, Tales from the Other Side), Martinez (Brendan Kelleher, Attack by Fire: Rivals, Justice for Chau) and Foggy (Salvatore DelGreco, Finders Keepers, Black Wake) breaking into their house on their security system’s app. They attack Billy and shoot Kat (Angie Campbell, The Wanking Dead, Scotch Tension) the girl he invited over. Janet and Sean are told that, in return for Billy’s safety, they just need to do one thing, kill Janet’s boss Larry ( Eric Allan Kramer, Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel, Flying By).
Alarmed mixes some nicely done and suspenseful scenes with moments of absolute stupidity that made me want to throw something at the screen. Told not to call the cops, Janet and Sean have two of their friends sneak into the house to try and rescue Billy. You can guess how that works out. Janet has a device to scan for trackers or listening devices. She scans herself, Sean and their phones, but not the most obvious place to hide one, their car.
Thankfully the script does enough right to keep Alarmed interesting even if it doesn’t consistently maintain the tension you expect from a film like this. There are too many familiar plot tropes and moments where the script loses focus or relies on convenient coincidences to advance itself. The result is a lightweight thriller that, at times, comes close to Lifetime territory but still managed to keep me watching. Given the price, it’s worth a watch if you’re not feeling fussy.
Alarmed is available on Tubi where the service is available. If you’re looking for more thrillers, FilmTagger has some suggestions for you.
14 thoughts on “Alarmed (2023) Review”
I’m just stuck on the wifes acting. This actress sucks. I don’t know who told this chick she had acting skills but she don’t. The story is ok but it was hard to finish watching the movie because of her. The son’s acting isn’t all that either. Erica Mena would’ve been a better choice. Anyone else but her.
I said the exact same thing. She can’t act.
I give this a thumb down
Just finished watching the movie. I actually enjoyed it. Though the scenario is a common one, it was a good watch for Lifetime. The choice of actors went together pretty well. Didn’t recognize Pooch Hall at first (weight gain) but I enjoyed his performance 👍.
NOT GOOD!!! 🙄 I am not one to write bad reviews because I look for the positives in everything… but, acting was horrible and screenplay was literally thrown together just to be doing something. I forwarded through the majority of the movie. The wife is pretty and the son was cool. Honestly, I only clicked on and continued to scroll through because Pooch Hall was in it.
I want the last 1 hr and 30 minutes of my life back!!! PLEASE do not waste ur time with this movie. It’s so corny ’til it’s funny!!
This movie was comical! Bad acting and a subpar plot! Should have watched sharknado marathon!
Horrible. Plot is messy with a disrespectful, mouthy, argumentative, confrontational wife, stupid side bar discussions while son is held hostage and son keeps making dumb decisions. Lots of scenes that don’t move the story forward.
Ugh. So disappointing. And I love Pooch Hall. He is a superb actor. But there was no chemistry – at all – with the other actors in the picture. Esp his “wife”.
Brittany Baker (“wife”) is horrible in this film. Her acting is ridiculous, and there is nothing to like about her character. She brings the whole thing down to a level that it made it impossible to watch.
Tubi. Do better.
This was probably know this is the worst movie I have ever seen in my 43 years of living you would think the actor from the game acting would’ve been somewhat better than the rest but his acting was just as bad as the rest of the characters horrible, horrible movie why would they even put this on television? The kid actor was horrible everything about this is horrible. Do not watch unless you want to watch it to talk about how horrible it is.
I had to turn it off. Suffered through 45 minutes
I disagree with lots of reviews. The wife in this movie was a hit. You don’t have to have erotic sex in a movie to make it excellent. She made some convincing attributes what to do in a situation like this and how to monitor a kid on house arrest. She didn’t know that her home & family were in trouble. She was calm, cool & kept a level head about the whole ordeal. A plus in my favor. Wished I had name of artist & song at end of movie.
Waste of time. Horrible acting. The wife not so cute. Her acting poor. Retire already. Pooch is fat. Stick with The Game. He was a horrible actor there. Glad that bs don’t come on anymore. Movies not for him either. Dumb ass mistakes humans should not commit. Why waste and put time and money into this sorry crap??? It’s like a movie you hurry up and make. 0 out of 5. Wasn’t intense at all. No thriller nor horror.
This was horrible! One thing it confirms, anybody can write a script and produce a movie. Time I will never get back!