7. Home Movie (2008)

homemovieFirst off, I would like to say that I was extremely disappointed to hear that this movie exists. A couple of years ago I was working on a script with the exact same title and a somewhat similar plot (home movies in which increasingly bizarre things happen). I don’t know why I was working on a script, as I don’t know anything about screenwriting, but I have this habit of starting things that are way too ambitious and then realizing halfway through that I don’t have the right skill set to complete them. When I was eight I wanted to do a paint-by-numbers painting, so naturally I bought this enormous 42-inch wide oil painting set. Sometimes I go through periods where I buy a ton of fabric, convinced that I am going to make messenger bags or skirts or whatever, forgetting the fact that I don’t know anything really about sewing. I have yarn, even though I don’t know how to knit.

Anyway, I guess I had some sort of psychic connection with the director of this film, and so he basically stole my idea and I should get royalties. That is the only rational explanation.

This is another entry in the hand-held, 1st person, shaky cam video genre that is very, very trendy (and has been for about a decade), and therefore even trendier to hate. Well, screw that. I love this format, and there have been few films in that vein that I haven’t enjoyed on some level.

Home Movie tells the story of a really attractive, intelligent psychiatrist played by Cady McClain, who is for some reason married to a clearly deranged Lutheran pastor with a troubled past. Most of the times we see him, he is talking in funny voices and/or wearing elaborate costumes of some kind. The pastor is played by Adrian Pasdar, who was an unwilling Texan vampire in Near Dark (excellent film), and Nathan Petrelli in Heroes (okay show). They have two children who are obviously possessed/influenced by demons, although their mother thinks they just need medication because she is a Serious Doctor.

Evil kids.

Evil kids.

The trouble with the children apparently began with their move to a new house, which is in the middle of nowhere, although apparently close enough that the wife can work in Philadelphia and the insane man can still be a pastor. We know that it is in the middle of nowhere, because they mention it in almost every conversation they have in front of the camera. “Here we are playing baseball, we can do this because we live in the middle of nowhere and we moved here recently,” “I love you so much that I was willing to move to the middle of nowhere even though you are clearly deranged, my husband,” “Can’t you see the children starting acting weird because there are demons living in this house in the middle of nowhere that we have moved to?”

Those may not be exact quotes, but they probably are.

Adrian Pasdar copes with the fact that his children are evil by teaching them useful things (which he often tells the camera are “ancient arts”, said in a funny voice) like how to pick locks and how to tie knots that are impossible to escape from, and also by casually saying things like “dead things go in trash bags.” Personally, for the first 70% of the film, I would much rather be left alone in a room with the demon children than this wacky/terrifying pastor.

"This is how you tie the perfect knot to restrain and murder people. Enjoy!"

"This is how you tie the perfect knot to restrain and murder people. Enjoy!"

When things escalate on the demon child front, he films himself telling the camera that Lutherans don’t believe in exorcisms, but then does one anyway by lighting candles all over the house and tying his children to the bed and hitting them and yelling for the demons to leave.

Aside from those issues, I actually thought the movie was pretty great, and it’s a shame it’s only available on DVD in Canada right now. The kids are wonderful, especially in a Thanksgiving scene in which they throw things off of the table in unison every time their father begins the prayer.

Adrian Pasdar’s creepy factor: 8/10

Ability of Adrian Pasdar to react to his children’s behavior in an appropriate way: 4/10

Ending: 9/10 (I didn’t want to spoil it for you)

Creepiness of the things the kids do: 7/10

Anne rating: 7/10

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~ by Anne Harding on October 4, 2009.

3 Responses to “7. Home Movie (2008)”

  1. Those are about as evil looking as children can get. Sounds great.

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