Homebound – Fright Fest 2022 review by Danielle O’Neill

homebound 2021

At Fright Fest at  Glasgow Film Festival 2022

Right from the opening scene driving along deserted UK country roads this movie oozes tension. We open with Richard and Holly, husband and wife going to meet his ex-wife Nina and their kids for his youngest daughter Anna’s birthday.Holly is noticeably anxious and worried that she’ll be unwelcome while Richard assures her they’ll love her and everything will be alright, but will it? We find out soon enough.

There isn’t much background given on the characters, we meet Anna, Ralph and Lucia who are Richard and Nina’s kids and they are decidedly off-putting. Ralph and Lucia are reminiscent of The Shining twins, and Anna seems innocent enough but deflects questions with invites to play with her instead. As the story unfolds the tension racks up considerably, the score to this movie is excellent, very atmospheric and sinister which does a wonderful job at putting the viewer at unease while watching this strange family dynamic.

Overall watching this seemingly innocent family party the tension between characters is palpable, and the viewer is left with the impression that something is very wrong here. It’s borderline uncomfortable to watch the interactions and you are left waiting for the string to snap and the horror to be revealed.

There are typical bad movie decision making skills present, a few times you end up shouting at characters on the screen for why they are or aren’t doing something in relation to their current situation, but I feel it adds to the sense of desperation this film delves into.

I’m a little unsure of the ending, I guess it is deliberately open ended and open to interpretation, but I’m not sure there’s enough information given within the film to accurately come up with a decisive ending. I feel it falls a little flat which is disappointing considering the movie up until this point has been excellent, ramping up the suspense more and more, leading to the answer to the main point you have been wondering from the start, there is a reveal, emotions running high… Then roll credits. It just seemed rushed and not well thought out, and I was left a little unsatisfied.

Despite the ending, I really enjoyed this movie, I thought it was creepy, tense, uncomfortable and I was invested in the characters, particularly Holly. It manages to make you feel uncomfortable and creeped out by your own imagination running wild, all while not physically showing much at all which is a credit to the excellent storytelling and acting.
Danielle O’Neill, March 2022

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This section: Film reviews, Film Reviews, Glasgow Film Festival 2022

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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