Home Movie is what would have happened had The Blair With Project had a proper script, good acting and – how does one put it – less snot-riddled closeups. You haven’t heard of Home Movie because it’s one of those genre oddities that only makes it to horror film festivals and under-the-radar arthouses. And if we’ve learned anything about current indie horror flicks, it’s that they’re miles ahead of Hollywood’s by-the-numbers, popcorn fare. What with Paris Hilton getting lead roles in slashers and all. And don’t even get us started on remakes. The last attempt at Friday the 13th was about as respectable as a camp counselor knocking boots with a park warden in a shack.
Home Movie is literally a collection of home movies of the Poe family, covering a time period from Halloween to Easter. The Poes are David, an offbeat and rather goofy Lutheran pastor (Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar), Claire, his neurotic psychiatrist wife and their two little twins – Jack and Emily. Things start out as normally as one would imagine. David and Claire do their best to give the kids the best life possible in their nice, new country home.
David, who assumes himself an auteur of home movies, decides he’ll record all the precious holiday moments that come with such responsibility. Thing is, the kids aren’t alright. At least not the more we get to know them. You’ll notice this halfway through Thanksgiving when frogs are found stapled to trees. At other times, the children start do things like pee themselves, in unison, with their heads drooped down, knowingly in front of the camera. When Christmas morning comes, the last thing the twins want to do is open presents. They’re much too busy crucifying the family cat. With every passing holiday occasion, David and Claire’s little angels become more distant and more violent, prompting their bewildered parents to resort to measures no parent would ever fathom.
What starts as an innocent family home movie eventually turns into one of the most disturbing and outright deranged horror films we’ve ever come across. And it totally works, considering its tight, inspired writing, its realistic setting and its raw, natural acting. Of all the “found footage” movies you’ve heard of, this is the one that’s worth it. Actually, Quarantine wasn’t half bad either. Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada and MODERNCINÃ‰.