The ‘Found footage’ film phenomena is getting pretty old, in my opinion. The Blair Witch media frenzy made a whole generation of douches with video cameras put down their bongs and say ‘Dude, we could totally do that,’ and never look back. From the gutter lows of Cloverfield’s big budget whine fest to Paranormal Entity’s surprisingly decent rip off of a more popular film, we’ve entered some extreme hit and miss territory in the world of film, and with every new teaser trailer that promises to reveal the real story for another made up mystery, a part of me dies a little inside, while the other cant wait to hand over my precious dollar to see whether all of the hullabaloo is justified.
Which, lets face it – it rarely ever is.
So I honestly thought that the not so cleverly titled Home Movie was going to be another disappointing, motion sickness inducing, night vision tastic piece of crap, but dammit, this charming bastard used all of it’s best moves and made me fall in love.
Only to empty my bank account, boil my bunny and break my heart after the credit’s had rolled.
Meh. C’est la vie ..
The plot follows an young couple (the interesting love match of a priest and a child psychologist) trying to deal with the growing realisation that their kids aren’t alright. Dad David (that guy from Heroes – no not that guy. The other one. Nope, the other one. Forget it – you’ll know when you see it.) has a camcorder addiction (along with his fondness for the falling down water), and through their home movies (geddit?) we see the desperation of two adults trying to ignore the fact that they would have had a better chance at family life if they had spawned the Midwich Cuckoos. Jack and Emily are in need of some serious whoop ass, as their creepy forays into torture go from ‘Hey that’s naughty. We don’t kill our pets in this house, young man.’ to ‘I’m serious, put the AK47 down or no TV for a week!’
This one really takes you by surprise – it’s tense and extremely chilling with some excellent acting performances from the kiddiewinks. It draws you into a family’s life, which just so happens to include the psychological war being waged between parent and child, and manages to be genuinely scary, without resorting to rivers of blood and gore, or bad FX.
Of course it has it’s flaws – as with all of these types of movie, the continued use of a camera in life and death situations is pretty baffling, no matter what half cocked reasoning the plot gives us, and some of the parenting choices made by the couple make even the least maternal of us (that would be me) raise an eyebrow and shake our heads (sometimes both it the same time!). I’m pretty sure if I had a kid and it was displaying psychotic tendencies I would not be teaching them how to pick locks or tie knots it’s virtually impossible to get free from – just to be on the safe side. Flaws aside though, this is definitely in my top five ‘Kid Killer’ and ‘Found Footage’ films of all time (yes I actually make lists – what of it?).
The moral of the story as I interpreted it?
Don’t procreate. They will be evil and they will kill you.