Home Sweet Home (2013) ***
D: John K.D. Graham
C: Alexandra Boylan, Raquel Cantu, Christopher Dempsey, Lorena Segura York, Andrew Boylan, Andrew Maiorano
Plot Synopsis: After going broke, Gwen Stevens is forced to return to her abandoned childhood home hoping to pick up the pieces of her life. Among the relics and memories of her past, she discovers someone is living in the house and they don't want to leave. In the New Mexico desert, miles from safety, Gwen must fight to protect the only thing she has left. Her life.
REVIEW: In Home Sweet Home, two homicidal squatters take over a woman's home. We see empty shots of the Arizona desert. This helps to establish just how isolated this woman's home is from everything else. In the background of various scenes, we see these homicidal squatters appear unbeknownst to the film's heroine. The tension mounts.
The film's heroine then realizes something bad, really bad is about to happen. She's call a friend pleading with her to come over. Her friend dismisses the phone call as a drunken rant. Who can blame her?!? In earlier scenes of the film, we watch as the film's heroine drinks a whole bottle of wine. The tension increases.
The female counterpart of this psychopathic duo of squatters is played by Raquel Cantu. She's the type of villain that will take her time to look over things, to listen for any noises that may be out of place. She teases and taunts her victims to be. She's the type of villain that knows how to manipulate a situation. Cantu's character induces terror and panic in her victims. The film has a likewise affect on its audience and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Now with the general scenario established, it's up to our heroine to turn the tables on these homicidal squatters. In a refreshing change of pace, the film's heroine doesn't turn into some Linda Hamilton esque type fighter. She's an everyday person like you & I and she's got to figure out a way to stay one step ahead of this duo. She does so convincingly.
All of this ultimately leads to the film's final resolution or lack thereof. A lot of audiences will walk away feeling cheated, even mad at the film. The finale is one of those endings in which the film simply refuses to answer itself. There are no concrete answers one way or another. Let me ask you this though? Even if the film had tied up all the loose ends and gave you one answer after another, how satisfied would you have walked away from this film?!?
You see, Home Sweet Home is one big tease, one scene of anticipation after another as we wait to see what happens next. The thrill of anticipation, of seeing where things go is almost always better then the payoff itself. At the end, we know all of the characters lives have been changed in some way, but in what way?!? Maybe the film doesn't have the answers we're looking for, because the characters don't know these answers themselves. How's that for some food for thought? And in the place you probably least expected it. [R] 82 mins.
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