Sunday, January 10, 2010

Home Movie (2008) Review

Posted this on Netflix, and I thought I'd throw it up here as well.

Home Movie (2008) Directed by Christopher Denham

Home Movie is a clever, tightly plotted horror film that follows the disintegration of a family due to the increasingly psychopathic behavior of their twin children. We follow the family through their home videos, many of which capture the kids doing a myriad of disturbing things.

Initially the parents' ignorance regarding their clearly sociopathic children seemed somewhat artificial, but as the film progresses, we see that they're actually struggling with how to address their problems. The psychologist mother believes that medical treatment and pharmaceuticals are the answer, while the pastor father takes some more unorthodox measures rooted in his faith. As the children become increasingly violent, we realize that the father's persistent and inane babbling is really just an attempt to cover up the fact that his family is falling apart.

Home Movie does exhibit many of the flaws that seem to come along with all "handycam horror" films. Most of the time the camera will cut off after a particularly disturbing instance, but (especially toward the end) you'll be wondering why the parents choose to keep the camera running. The first act also feels a little stilted. Adrian Pastar is a little over-the-top as the fun-loving father, and at times I kind of wanted to stab him myself.

Overall, Home Movie succeeds, not because it resorts to cheap thrills and shocks, but because it's ultimately a film about the secrets we keep within families, and the refusal to acknowledge the fact that every family is, in some way, dysfunctional.


Pros: Keeps the story interesting by focusing on the family drama instead of violence.
Cons: Not quite believable. Adrian Pastar's overacting.

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