Sunday 15 December 2019

Hell Is Where the Home Is (2018)

"Hell is where they're showing this"

Receiving its world premiere on the main screen at London's Frightfest last year, HELL IS WHERE THE HOME IS makes its digital debut on that festival's very own label through Signature Releasing.

Four ghastly obnoxious young people rent a luxury isolated mountain getaway for the weekend, not knowing that the owners have been despatched in a pre-credits sequence. They have booze (it looks like sherry but I suspect it's not) and at least one of them hoovers up cocaine as if a national shortage has been declared. Do not play a drinking game with this man's onscreen habit or you will be under the table before the end of the first act.

While they're all drinking, drugging, shagging and squabbling (and thus endearing themselves not a jot to the audience unless said audience consists of similar superficial narcissitic nobodies & surely such have far more frivolous and self-damaging ways to spend their time than watch a film), the doorbell rings. It's Fairuza Balk. Her car has broken down and can she use the phone?

Needless to say, an actress of Ms Balk's calibre (and therefore cost) isn't going to last long in a low budget film like this and sure enough soon something happens to her to render her offscreen EXCEPT the film-makers forget we need to see her later on so when we do it's a stand-in with a flannel on her face.
Our leads argue some more and get themselves into even more trouble before the bad guys turn up, wielding machetes and going full home invasion. They are brutish, tattooed, boast gold teeth and speak in grunts and you'll be rooting for them all the way as the far more sympathetic individuals in this frankly miserable film that takes far too long to get going for something that only runs for 83 minutes. 

Director Orson Oblowitz tries the odd nod to Argento (a blade being forced between teeth by a black-gloved assailant) and lights the end of the film in Bava greens and pinks but the opening half an hour is so devoid of any redeeming features that by then we're not prepared to cut him any slack. Composer Jonathan Snipes opens and closes with a tinkly giallo theme that has you hoping that with its isolated glamorous setting we're going to get a FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON. Instead we get four morons for a bad night in. The Frightfest Presents label has brought out a lot of great stuff in the last couple of years, much of it covered on here, but unless you are a label completist you can give HELL IS WHERE THE HOME IS a big miss.

HELL IS WHERE THE HOME IS is out on Digital HD on Monday 16th December 2019

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