4.8/10
6,191
65 user 35 critic

While She Was Out (2008)

A woman out late for Christmas Eve shopping is soon terrorized by a small gang of troublemakers, and she must fight for her life.

Director:

Susan Montford

Writers:

Edward Bryant (short story), Susan Montford

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Basinger ... Della
Lukas Haas ... Chuckie
Craig Sheffer ... Kenneth
Jamie Starr Jamie Starr ... Huey
Leonard Wu ... Vingh
Luis Chávez ... Tomas (as Luis Chavez)
Luke Gair Luke Gair ... Terry
Erika-Shaye Gair ... Tammi
Wayne Bernard Wayne Bernard ... Angry Driver
Ari Solomon ... Rent A Cop
Sadie Lawrence Sadie Lawrence ... Perfume Sales Lady
Alana Husband ... Lingerie Sales Assistant
Katie Messina ... Coffee Sales Person
Rachel Hayward ... Lynn
Lossen Chambers ... Pharmacy Sales Assistant
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Storyline

Della Myers is an overwhelmed upper-middle-class housewife who lives in a large house in the suburbs with her twin children and her abusive husband, Kenneth. Kenneth lets Della know that he thinks she gives all her attention to the twins and neglects her house and her appearance. Late on Christmas Eve, Della drives to the local mall to buy gift-wrap. While searching for a parking space in the jam-packed lot, Della notices an old car taking up two spaces. Frustrated and annoyed, she decides to leave a paper message on the windshield of the old car, writing, "Hey, Jerk. Two parking spaces. How selfish can you be?" After the mall closes, Della's car is held by the driver of the old car and she is threatened by four punks -- Chuckie, Huey, Vingh, and Tomás. When the security guard of the mall attempts to protect Della, he is shot and killed by Chuckie. Della tries to escape from the criminals in her truck, but the gang chases her. In the chase, she crashes in a nearby forest. What unfolds... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Edited and revised for clarity by JKS, United States

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone has a breaking point. Tonight, she reaches hers See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish | Chinese

Release Date:

26 March 2009 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Mientras estás fuera See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$498,088
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Version of this story was filmed as a segment of the anthology series The Hidden Room starring Stephanie Zimbalist as Della. See more »

Connections

References The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Traditional, arranged by Frederic Austin
Arranged by Andre Mayeux
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
Something Was Lacking, But Worth a Rental, Perhaps
1 April 2009 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

An abused housewife (Kim Basinger) goes shopping for wrapping paper on Christmas Eve, and finds herself alone and confronted by a gang of thugs who wish to do harm to her. But she finds herself to be stronger than she thought, and fights back.

Right off the bat, I didn't much care for this film. I found Basinger to be the wrong woman for her role, and not particularly good at what she was doing. The story of an abused wife is certainly terrifying in its own way and I felt for her character... but I never found Basinger believable. The box cover quotes a critic raving about her performance, but I just didn't see it.

From there, we run across stereotypes and clichés. Why is this taking place on Christmas Eve? The film is released in April... and do we really need another Christmas movie anyway? We have yet another dead cell phone, pretty much standard in films today. And then we have a woman who is alone in a big city, somehow able to find secluded woods... there's no one around? Really? But let's just ignore these things.

Another critic points out the "politically correct" casting choices for the thugs -- why are they all racially different and lead by the white man? I guess I don't have a problem with this, but I am forced to wonder if the writer consciously thought that it was important to mix the racial makeup of the group. Which is over-thinking the story, really.

The use of the toolbox was a nice touch... others have compared it to Batman's utility belt (I guess Basinger recalls her time as Vicki Vale). I don't know how realistic it is to carry a toolbox along when you're trying to run away silently from thugs, but I can't deny the nice splashes of blood that come from driving tools deep into a bad guy's head. Which, as a horror reviewer, was a nice surprise from the generally more tam "thriller" genre.

Overall, I found the film predictable and not containing the best acting. There are a few memorable scenes and the ending wasn't exactly what I expected... so that's good. I'd say the film might be worth a rental if you want a bit of suspense on a rainy Friday night, but there are better options out there if you really want to be "thrilled".


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