Carrie, a young, spiritual woman is abandoned by her missionary father and forced to move in with her mother and stepsister whose lifestyle conflicts with everything she’s come to believe in. In addition to this test on her values and convictions, Carrie believes the new house possesses evil paranormal forces. During one terrifying night after her mother leaves on a business trip, Carrie and her boyfriend conduct an exorcism to rid the house of its supernatural presence. But, instead of purging the spirit, they awaken an even more sinister terror that begins to haunt and torture them. Now, Carrie must confront savage forces to protect her little sister and her life...
In the film, HOME, abandoned after her missionary Father departs for India, young Carrie goes to live with her mother, Heather and her partner, Samantha, along with Samantha's daughter, Tia. Going to live with them, is sort of a culture shock for Carrie, who is extremely religious, as her Mother's lifestyle does not match her beliefs. Not only are Heather and Samantha in a Lesbian partnership, both Samantha and Tia, do not believe in God. It's quite a lot to get used to for Carrie. But that isn't all. As the house in which the family has just recently moved, seems to be haunted, by the homes previous owner, old man Roberts. Strange things begin to occur in the home; Ominous noises are heard, the sudden appearance of the old man's old wooden doll, TVs turning on and off, and bloody hand prints found on a wall, behind the wallpaper. Not to mention the sudden shattering of light bulbs and glass. Things really come to a head however, on a night that Carrie is left at home as she looks after Tia. Convinced that the house is indeed haunted, both she and her boyfriend, decide to perform a makeshift exorcism, however, unfortunately for them, that only seems to make things worse. Soon, the evil force within the house makes its presence known, threatening the safety of Carrie and her new stepsister, Tia. However, little does Carrie know, that harm may have already been done.
Going into this newly released Horror film, titled, HOME, to be honest, I knew little about it. What I did know, and what piqued my interest in the film, is that it co-stars(although, of course she gets top billing here), A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's Heather Langenkamp. Here, Langenkamp portrays the mother who takes in her daughter, after her Father goes to India on a religious mission. Although she was of course, once married to her daughter's aforementioned father, Heather is in a Lesbian relationship, and is now legally married to Sam. This of course, is quite the oposite of Carrie's upbringing. So with that, HOME presents a story that is first about someone being a "fish out of water", so to speak, before it falls deeper onto Carrie's religious beliefs when it reveals that the house in which she now resides is, in fact, haunted. The truth is that, I really wanted to like this one more than I did. For Heather Langenkamp's sake, at least. Unfortunately, though, while HOME isn't "awful", it's mediocre in just about every sense of the word. Not to mention that everything about it is just so stereotypically "by-the-numbers". Not just in the way which it delivers its Horror, but also down to it's portrayal of a lesbian couple in film.
HOME first comes across as wanting to be daring, with its inclusion of a married Lesbian couple at its center, in a rather cheesy manner. First, we have the Counselor/Neighbor guy, who is played by Lew Temple, who swears that he has never seen a female same sex couple before. And then that is followed by moments that seem to have been created, just to display "Heather" and "Samantha's"(Yes, most of the characters here, share the same name as the actors portraying them) "togetherness". While the moment with Temple was meant to be funny - it isn't. And the other moments? Well, they just seemed forced upon us. And speaking of forced. Another thing that HOME seems to be pushing is the religious aspect. The multiple appearances of crucifixes and bible verses, as well as hymns, make sure that we know that religion is at the core of this tale. And then, there is the tired aspect of using religion to "possibly" defeat evil. While countless stories have shown us that it could be plausible. HOME goes about it in, again, the most stereotypical, and dull way possible. And as for the Horror of it all? It is the typical haunted house fluff for the most part. Everything that you expect to happen, does. The characters hear strange noises, light bulbs burst, glass breaks without warning, the characters take notice of ghostly activity - the film also includes, what may, or may not be the possession of a child. The brunt of what makes up HOME, has been seen before, and it has been done elsewhere, much more effectively, which is unfortunate. What appears to be HOME's only shred of originality, is its conclusion, which is a little bit of a twist ending involving the little girl, "Tia". But even that, isn't so great, as it doesn't come as much of a great surprise.
To sum up what HOME is as a whole, I would say it is, again, just "mediocre" - everything about it. Even the acting performances are "by the book", safe. The acting performances range from over the top, to the "just here" variety. While the younger cast members show obvious signs of inexperience, the older members of the cast seem to just phone in their performances, as they appear bored. Yes, even Langenkamp, who we know has been much better before. But in this case however, I do not fault her, as the material doesn't offer much in the way of inspiration.
As I said above, I really wanted to like this one. But, while it is a passable way to kill some time, it is just far too predictable, and hollow. Again, we have seen all of this before, and we have seen it executed much better. This film treads a much too familiar line, far too closely to stand out on it's own. It stands out neither with its story, its execution of it, or its characters.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
HOME is a haunted house film, that doesn't go beyond the boundaries of what previous films of its type have set. It would have been nice to see HOME be a film that explored other avenues, in terms of the haunted house flick. But unfortunately, it does not, as it prefers to keep things safe. As a result, it has the most typical of outcomes, with the majority of its content feeling tired, or rehashed.
This film well be released on DVD, and VOD on March 1, 2016