The Horror Honeys: I Dare You Not to Roll Your Eyes Before the Movie is Done...

I Dare You Not to Roll Your Eyes Before the Movie is Done...

A Revenge Honey Review by Linnie

Home Movie (2008)

It took me a long ass time to finally get my hands on a copy of Christopher Denham's Home Movie (via Hulu, of all places), and I think we have to file this one under a case of my expectations being too high. Because while I find creepy/sociopathic kids terrifying, Home Movie did nothing that hasn't already been covered before (and better) by The Children, The Bad Seed, The Good Son, Who Can Kill a Child?, aw hell... Just name off any killer kid movie and it's probably better than Home Movie.

Which isn't to say it's awful. It's just not... much of anything memorable.

The Story: Parents David (Adrian Pasdar) and Clare (Cady McClain), a pastor and a psychologist respectively, move their twins out to the country when it is clear that something is seriously psychologically wrong with them. However, a Rocky Mountain High isn't enough to stop little Emily and Jack from throwing tantrums during family prayer time, crucifying the family cat, and biting each other until they draw blood for fun. And of course, because yuppies, David and Clare obsessively monitor every moment of their family fun time, which just also happens to involve a lot of tiny twin sadism.

The Kids: Emily and Jack, played by real-life siblings Amber Joy and Austin Williams, aren't actually as creepy as I was expecting them to be. When trailers set you up for scenes of pet murder and parent beating, you expect some seriously cold little shits and honestly, I just never really felt it from these kids. Maybe I've been desensitized from decades of horror films and episodes of Law & Order: SVU, but since the kids were only show in full-blown sociopath mode for about 20 minutes and I never believed there was any demonic possession involved, I just wasn't buying it.

The Found Footage Aspect: I have ZERO patience for found footage, and I never have. I've only seen it done well a few times, including recently with The Taking of Deborah Logan, but Home Movie isn't really done all that well. Yes, I know that families are big on documenting major life moments, but I found it hard to believe a mother would be intercutting her psychological analysis of her children with Easter egg hunting and birthday celebrations. It all felt clumsy and just wore me out by the final, resolution-free conclusion.

Revenge Honey Bone of Contention (and mild spoiler): Toward the end of the film, once the twins have been found out as little murder monsters, they are rightfully convicted of a crime. But, because it is Easter, the Department of Social Services send them home with their parents for the night until court re-opens the next day. This is a massively ridiculous plot point. Regardless of age, holiday, state, whatever: if two children are CHARGED, let alone expediently convicted somehow, of attempted murder and more, they wouldn't be released into anyone's care but a juvenile detention facility. This was some seriously lazy writing.

In the end, while I appreciated Denham's attempt to show the disparate approaches to dealing with problem children and how both science and spirituality are incapable of explaining true sociopathy, Home Movie just wasn't a strong enough film to shoulder such heady themes. When it comes to movies about killer kids, Home Movie just isn't creepy enough to count.

Revenge Honey Rating: 2 Jesus Cats out of 5