HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Far From Home Be Smart Be SafeBuy this film here.
Year: 1989
Director: Meiert Avis
Stars: Matt Frewer, Drew Barrymore, Richard Masur, Karen Austin, Susan Tyrrell, Andras Jones, Dick Miller, Anthony Rapp, Connie Sawyer, Jennifer Tilly, Stephanie Walski, Murrill Maglio, Teri Weigl, John Spencer
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Thirteen-year-old Jolene Cox (Drew Barrymore) is looking forward to her fourteenth birthday in a couple of days' time, mostly because it means she will be back home, for she and her father Charlie (Matt Frewer) have been taking a road trip around various national parks and monuments, and she cannot wait for the holiday to end, the whole thing has held very little interest for her. However, the experience will be dragged out a little longer as the gas station they were counting on for a refuel turns out to be deserted, leaving Charlie to push their car to the next stop, and that's a trailer park which has no fuel either. Therefore they will have to wait for the next delivery - but someone is watching.

Someone with designs on Jolene, and it wasn't the director Meiert Avis, a man best known for his extensive work in the music video world, here making a rare feature film. Far From Home was essentially one of those American indie thrillers that showed up around the turn of the eighties into the nineties and beyond, a subgenre which concentrated on character and interesting locations for their casts to inhabit. This was a typical example, and for a while Barrymore seemed set to settle in these for the rest of her career until she managed to star in bigger budget, higher profile work, leaving matters like this a part of the past as indie thrillers discovered swearing, gore and Quentin Tarantino.

Back in 1989, Drew was fresh out of rehab which she had been admitted to at the age of thirteen, a sad state of affairs the tabloid press had lapped up; seeing how level-headed she became, it's possibly a good thing it's easy to forget her "wild child" days. With Far From Home, that sleazy side wasn't so much an element of her screen persona as it was in the way Avis' camera took her in, one scene played out with her wearing a bikini and another in a wet T-shirt, something that could make you uncomfortable as you're not entirely sure of how the audience is being pushed to react to her. When the plot develops into a serial killer suspense piece, you begin to "get" what the point was: Jolene may look like a young woman, but she remains a young girl, and must be protected.

Funny way of going about it, you might think, emphasising the sexual angle, especially when Jolene finds herself attracted to the local bad boy teen Jimmy (Andras Jones) who introduces himself by running an ice cube over her bare arm in lingering fashion. He's patently a deeply troubled youth, with no idea of how to comport himself in a reasonable way judging by his tendency to lash out at all and sundry, including Jolene when she feels he is coming on too strong and tries to politely reject him. Interestingly, Charlie, who dotes over his daughter, is rather ineffectual when it comes to guiding her, rendering this as much a cautionary tale for dads as well as their offspring, though there was a degree of exaggeration when the murderer makes his presence felt.

This was supposed to be a thriller after all, but there were hints that it could quite as easily have become an offbeat drama, wrapped up in the personalities even more than throwing electric fans into baths or blowing up cars with elaborate schemes. One issue with that was we were all too aware of who the killer was in spite of their supposed mystery status: Jimmy is the prime suspect, and if you know anything about how these things go he's just too obvious, which leaves a selection of others including the only culprit it could possibly be given the clues we have. But if as a conundrum it was a less than captivating example, there was a particularly vivid atmosphere of a place in the middle of nowhere, with well-chosen locations like the inhospitable desert or a half-finished building, that contributed to the desolation. Throw in some expert quirkiness from the dependable likes of Richard Masur, Susan Tyrrell, Dick Miller and Jennifer Tilly, and you had a modest movie that nonetheless crafted a tangible sense of peril and concern for its vulnerable lead. Music by Jonathan Elias.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1390 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: