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"A slow-burn of a movie, exceptionally crafted and assured. Gets under your skin. Creepy as hell” - Larry Fessenden, Director of LAST WINTER, WENDIGO
"Genuinely creepy and original. What BLAIR WITCH PROJECT might have been if it had a brain, a script, technique, and actors as good as these" - Jack Ketchum, author of THE LOST, OFF SEASON
Director: Christopher Denham
Screenplay: Christopher Denham
Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Cady McClain, Austin William, Amber Joy Williams, Lucian Maisel
Producers: Andrew van den Houten, William M. Miller, Frank Olsen, Sam Hamadeh
The Poes are your average, middle-class American family, living in a remote area of upstate New York. Clare (Cady McClain) is a psychiatrist. David (Adrian Pasdar) is a Lutheran minister. Ten-year-old twins Jack and Emily (played brilliantly by actual brother and sister Austin and Amber Williams) are out of their minds. Clare recently bought a video camera to document her sessions, but neither parent can resist co-opting it to use for home movies. Everything we see is limited to what they have shot of each other. And it isn’t pretty. Their footage at first seems fairly typical until Jack throws a rock into his father’s face. Shortly afterward, a tender moment is interrupted when Emily quietly kills a frog. Listening to the parent’s conversations, we begin to realize that the Poe children have always been violent. And it appears that their behaviour has lately been getting far more dangerous. After a particularly savage incident (trust me, it will freeze your blood), Clare tries to do home counseling with her own children as patients, but this fails miserably. Medicine fails. Religion fails. The children are utterly, irrevocably cruel—the very definition of the word “evil,” in fact—and there is absolutely nothing their parents can do except continue documenting their behaviour.
The most mature and provocative entry yet in the current wave of “reality horror” filmmaking, HOME MOVIE takes us into the troubled household of the idealized American family-next-door, laying bare their darkest power struggles and most disturbing transgressions. Ferociously smart and frightening, it recalls the ’70s cycle of horror films that deconstructed the family unit in horrifically revealing ways (think THE BROOD, IT’S ALIVE...), told with a millennial verité aspect that lends chilling potency to everything. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment for first-time writer/director Christopher Denham, burning with genuine horror and enforced by perfect performances that never fail to convince. The film is also shot through with fascinating subtext and grisly irony. For one, the camera itself is an agent of empowerment, those holding it attaining a degree of control that they clearly lack without it. Denham also cleverly fleshes out his film’s twins-oriented universe with the use of reciprocating situations and iconography. You won’t consciously recognize it at first, but these devices are employed from the very first moments, and they are ingenious. HOME MOVIE goes places few modern horror films dare. If you’re a parent, or for that matter anyone that has ever tried to forgive a loved one who’s done something indefensible, it will absolutely mortify you.