As the title suggests, Christopher Denham’s directorial debut is a horror flick set firmly in the found footage sub-genre. Now before you start rolling your eyes and sighing exasperated sighs, hear me out. Yes, this type of film rarely brings anything new to the table, but Home Movie is an exception.
The film follows the Poe family as they adapt to a new life in the country. Parents David and Clare happily record the day-to-day activities via a hand held recorder while their children, Jack and Emily, remain silent. Trouble begins when their kids start exhibiting unsettling behavior, which includes killing their pets in a number of brutal ways. As their situation gets worse, David and Clare frantically search for an explanation to their children’s actions while wrestling with their own personal demons.
For a low budget film, Home Movie has plenty of potent horror elements within its modest running time. The reason it works is simple: the makers kept the writing sharp. As a result, the characters are three dimensional instead of just being lifeless cardboard cutouts. Every horrific element they encounter is heightened because we as an audience care about what happens to them. It might seem basic, but this is where a lot of recent, big budget offerings fall down.
Home Movie won’t revolutionize the horror genre. It has its fair share of flaws. The usual ‘why’re they filming everything?’ question inevitably crops up and some of the character’s decisions are remarkably stupid, but it’s a prime example of how much a difference can be made just through the writing.
Link to the trailer: