Hey gang, Valkor. I hope everyone is having a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas day. And even if you don't celebrate the day, enjoy it nonetheless. I've decided to spend a nice, quiet, relaxing day at home with a few glasses of wine and a handful of films that I'll watch for myself and for the site. Next up on the Val chopping block is a home invasion flick that had a super beginning, but then does something that made me toss the DVD into the trash. Check it out, it's "Home Sweet Home". FYI if you're looking to go fresh into this one, then you might want to skip to another page because I totally spoil the ending to his film.
Home Sweet Home centers on married couple Sarah (Meghan Heffern) and Frank (Adam MacDonald), who've returned home from a night out only to find a stranger (Shaun Benson) in their home. Frank is killed straight away leaving Sarah alone to face the methodical killer – and he is methodical as for the first 20 minutes of the film; he takes his time rummaging through their home, sifting through their things and setting up shop for the killing blows. Ultimately it all comes down to a faceoff between Sarah and her silent but deadly killer, with Sarah having the upper hand, holding a gun straight at the guy. She shoots and she scores a direct hit to the throat. Sarah then calls the police, which automatically redirects the call to the next available officer. You can hear the ringing as the call attempts to connect aaaaand… Spoiler Alert:
A phone from inside the killer's pocket goes off and wouldn't you know it, It's the Sheriff lying on the floor with a bullet in his gullet, the very same sheriff whom she's been trying to contact for some time prior to this about an incident where something happened that she needed some sort of police involvement. But before she can truly finish the guy off, he gets in a quick swipe, slicing off Sarah's arm and stabbing her to death. With a bullet lodged in his throat, the sheriff is able to gather his things, clean up a bit, make the place look like a crime scene, call in for back up and make his way out of the house. The end.
For the first twenty minutes and right before that ending, Home Sweet Home is amazing and very compelling. For starters, the set up of the killer silently making his way through the house and sizing up the couple, it's creepy and really sets things up for what's about to happen to them. One of my favorite scenes is when the killer has a moment with his mask (which is beyond creepy) just before he takes it out of the box; it's very quiet and intimate. It's like he's slowly reaching for his "precious". Once the couple arrive, it's simply a matter of waiting and I love how you can see in both Sarah and Frank's mannerisms that they sense something isn't quite right but they can't quite lock it down. We know what's going to happen, it's just a matter of when. And when the shit hits the fan, it's pretty gruesome – at least for poor Frank, who gets the brunt of it. The acting from the two actual speaking actors is ok, which starts out fun and playful. But then Sarah takes over and it becomes more of a gripping scenario. Shaun Benson's silent killer is amazing; it's all about the mannerisms combined with that super creepy mask - it's frightening combination. PerfectView props go to Meghan Heffern whom I wish we could have gotten a sexier shower scene or some action in that cheerleader outfit. But from start to almost finish, and with a few ball drops in between, Home Sweet Home was a cinematic treat.
Unfortunately the ending keeps it from being as awesome as it should. But let's start with a few nitpicks; there were actions the characters made, especially Sarah, that seem outright dumb. One major dumb move is when she finds a gun, but it has a safety lock on it. She eventually finds the key and upon hearing the killer playing back some audio of her and her family, she races up the stairs – without unlocking the gun, and slams right into the guy. The fuck was that all about? There are a few more instances similar to this, but I won't get into it. Again, it's nitpicking. My main focus is the ending – talk about a fumble. For one thing it should have ended right when the phone goes off in the killer's pocket or when the camera switches back to Sarah and we see her look of horror. At the moment I was floored! But then it goes on! I'm thinking this guy with the bullet in his throat is all but dead but he goes on doing stuff and talking as though he wasn't shot in the throat. HUH??? That really killed the film for me because before all that mess, it was amazing! But it ends with such disappointment, taking the film down several notches.
Poor Frank; first he takes a golf club to the melon and then he gets scalped? UGH!
Home Sweet Home is available now, and while it has a great start and the creepiest of killers, its ending disappoints. If you're curious then definitely check it out but as it stands, out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Home Sweet Home a 2.