Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home Review

Home Sweet Home Review
Home invasion horror is a dime a dozen these days. "The Purge" came out earlier this year, and there are seemingly hundreds of others before it. I can understand what draws people to the genre. Nobody likes being unsafe in their own home. The one and only place you should feel safest all of a sudden becomes very unsafe for you...its upsetting. It isn't a thought I like keeping in my brain for a long time. However, to my astonishment, there are very few good examples of the sub-genre.

I thought "Home Sweet Home" would be different. From the beginning, it felt different. As the film opens we listen to a answering machine full of voicemails frantically trying  to reach a couple. Apparently this couple hasn't been answering their phones, all the while small snippets of blood and terror fill the screen. Then we begin to pan around a nice home until we reach the front door. Then a man whose face we cannot see enters the house. I knew exactly what was happening, this guy was breaking in. The next 15 or so minutes is preparation time. This guy is making his plan foolproof. What his plan is? Who knows. All I knew was that this 15-20 minute opening had me. It felt so different from other home invasion films. It created a tense style that was hard to shake. Once the couple (Meghan Heffern and Adam MacDonald) come home, I was ready for anything.

Sadly, after that we don't get much. There is crazy build-up that leads virtually nowhere. We get the usual dumb boo scares in which couple scares themselves on accident. Once the killer begins to put his plan into motion, the film boils down into a simple torture porn type film. Not exactly my type of horror. For a movie that is roughly 80 minutes, the film drags after its strong opening, which really bummed me out. The movie starts moving at such a slow pace that the experience feels numbing. There is no tension, no pulse-pounding moments, just a couple getting abused by some dude in a mask. What a wet blanket.

I like my horror movies filled with motivation and mystery. "Home Sweet Home" features none of that. There is nothing mysterious about the killer, there is nothing that really connects him to the couple. When it is revealed at the end who the killer is, it lands with a big thud which made the entire film feel like a cheat. I wish I could comment on the performances but these actors only do what any actor could really do. Scream. Run. Hide. That's it. There isn't any greater motivation for anybody, so I lost interest quick.

"Home Sweet Home," is a big disappointment, especially after its strong opening. "Home Sweet Home" has the same problems "The Purge" does. Its way too afraid of its own convictions and ambitions. Which makes for a painful experience for the audience.

FINAL GRADE: D

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