From the very heart of the Deep South comes Home Sick, a unique take on the slasher horror genre. Directed by Alabama's Adam Wingard, who was recently chosen as a contestant for the Steven Spielberg-produced filmmaking reality show On the Lot, it's a ruthlessly gory and otherworldly exercise that has some similarities to the unsettling works of David Lynch as well as the more familiar stalk-and-slash staples.
Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) stars as the enigmatic Mr. Suitcase, an overly friendly Southern gentleman in a cheap blue suit who inexplicably crashes a homecoming for Claire (Lindley Evans), a college student on Christmas break. As her small group of friends watches incredulously, Mr. Suitcase opens an attaché case full of razor blades, and asks them all to tell him about a person they hate. As they do, he grabs partygoer Candice (scream queen Tiffany Shepis) and viciously slashes himself with a blade. But when each person identified during their bizarre session starts turning up dead, sadistically mutilated by an unstoppable black-hooded killer, the terrified friends believe they may be next, as Tim (Matt Lero) had awkwardly joked that he "hated" everyone attending the party!
For horror fans that have become tired of the more formulaic aspects of the genre, Home Sick is a well-shot, unsettling gorefest that thrives on both a restless atmosphere and the excessively bloody effects of Jonathan Thornton (Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat). Moving through a disorienting landscape of bowling alleys, neon-lit motels and rundown service stations, members of the gaunt, pasty-faced cast—a far cry from the picture-perfect teens seen in most Hollywood horrors—seem to inhabit a detached dream world that frequently melts away into a nightmarish terror where toenails are wrenched off, heads are punched through and bodies are cleaved in half.
The result is a vivid series of ghastly images -- a coke-high Shepis squirming in the blood of her butchered mother, an all-night cafe decorated with leering deer heads and an uninhibited celebration of guns acquired from Tim's uncle (Tom Towles, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), the chili-obsessed head of a covert militia group, complete with fevered flag-waving and patriotic whooping. Augmented with these surreal touches, Home Sick's unsettling tone makes it a memorable entry in the modern-day slasher sweepstakes.
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenplay: Evan Katz
Cast: Bill Moseley
Producers: Evan Katz, Peter Katz
Distributor: Synapse Films