Home (aka At the Devil’s Door), 2014
Written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy
Starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Naya Rivera, Ashley Rickards, Ava Acres
When ambitious young real estate agent Leigh is asked to sell a house with a checkered past, she crosses paths with a disturbed girl whom she learns is the runaway daughter of the couple selling the property. When Leigh tries to intervene and help her, she becomes entangled with a supernatural force that soon pulls Leigh’s artist sister Vera into its web – and has sinister plans for both of them.
Released elsewhere as At the Devil’s Door, Home is a movie that suffers from far too many errors at script level. In fact if it wasn’t so well acted and directed with several flourishes of brilliance, Home would be a bona fide dud.
The first of its issues lays in its story telling of main characters. What you have here is a script that think its being clever by giving so many misdirects in terms of who is the leading character and it takes the Psycho methodology of killing off leading ladies to the nth degree. So what you end up with is three different leading characters as they battle this demon who wants to impregnate them. Sadly this means you never grow attached to any of the characters and you don’t care about any of their journeys. Home thinks its being clever, but its actually not.
Home also becomes a problem when it goes to the base level of “getting” its audience by using simple jump scares that became played out in the genre years ago. Here’s a lesson that horror script writers need to learn: normal people do not investigate a house where two people died in the middle of the night on their own, they just don’t. There was nothing stopping the character from waiting until morning other than writer and director Nicolas McCarthy’s need to make his audience jump when he uses the loud scary noise. It’s so tired and played out that Home becomes more of a chore to sit through rather than an intriguing possession horror.
Which is a real shame as there are flashes of greatness in McCarthy’s work. Even when he goes to the most basic of jump scares, there are some interesting visuals and creativity from the director which are marred by the film’s general lack of freshness. If McCarthy could have focused more attention on these rather than trying to misdirect the audience at every turn and give us scares we’ve seen a dozen times this year alone, there could have been something good to come out of Home.
But sadly there really isn’t. There is nothing bad about Home, but there is nothing new, original or interesting which just makes it a below-average movie. The Devil possessing a girl to give birth to the anti-Christ is not an novel concept, but so many others have done it so much better and Home is an entry into the genre that will quickly be forgotten. Nothing to see here.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.