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Film4 FrightFest: Home review

Every cliche in the book is brought out for this sub-par horror.

Home

Real estate agent Leigh (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is asked to sell a house for a couple who can no longer afford to live in it. Upon inspection of the house Leigh finds a variety of odd things and discovers that a young girl (Ashley Ricklands) may be living in it. As she investigates further she discovers the devastating past of the house and soon she’s dragged into the middle of it along with her artist sister Vera (Naya Rivera) and soon both women are fighting for their lives.

Home is an amalgamation of a lot of different horror films including The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, Don’t Look Now and The Grudge but unfortunately lacking the punch that any of those films packed. Writer/director Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) has clearly brushed up on his classic horror but in using elements from classics he failed to construct a story that makes any sense or leaves a lasting impression.

Even though Home is a bit of a mess, and unintentionally funny – the screening we saw the movie in was regularly punctuated by belly laughs and not in a good way – there are some surprisingly effective moments. Whilst the done and done again story of a girl selling her soul to the devil may lack any originality, McCarthy does manage to pack in some genuine scares that distract from the disappoint (barely there) storyline.

One of the things we liked about the movie is that the main character shifts throughout so you don’t spend all that much time with just one character. The screentime is divided up between Ashley Ricklands, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Naya Rivera. The best of the three is Rivera and Gleeks will be pleased with the performance she gives here. There’s no sign of her feisty McKinley High character Santana and Rivera actually makes for a great leading lady. Could a career in horror be the way forward once Glee comes to an end next year?

Unfortunatly Rivera, along with the other two lead actresses, are let down by a ridiculous story that lacks any sense of cohesion or logic. To say that final act is a bit disappointing would be a huge understatement. When the credits rolled we weren’t on our own when we questioned what our eyes had just seen and couldn’t believe that it ended the way it did. The audience deserve better and there isn’t actually any sort of payoff to make you feel rewarded for sticking with the lack of logic for 90 minutes.

Save for Rivera, Moreno and Rickards there’s little reason to recommend Home. It’s horror-by-numbers in every sense of the word and it offers absolutely nothing that you haven’t seen a hundred times before done much better. Home could have been a great little horror film despite its lack of originality but unfortunately it takes inspiration from classic of genre and forgets to put in any of the good parts.

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