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  Homewrecker Thankyou For Being A Friend
Year: 2019
Director: Zach Gayne
Stars: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Kris Siddiqui, Tony Matthews
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Michelle (Alex Essoe) is a thirtysomething interior designer, married a year or so, who would like to have a baby with her husband but suspects he is having commitment issues and would prefer not to, no matter what thoughts he admits to. So she putters along in her middle class existence, attending spin class, drinking in coffee shops while she taps away on her laptop, and what's this? Someone wants to make friends. She is Linda, who gave Michelle a tampon when she was in need, though it is odd to consider what a woman in middle age would need with sanitary products like that...

Which is not all that's odd about Linda, whose relentlessly upbeat personality appeals to Michelle's polite nature, even though if she was honest she would admit she did not particularly need company right now, and not from a woman who is giving off casual weirdo signals as they talk. Plus, Linda doesn't half pry, wanting her to open up emotionally in a manner that would be acceptable for old friends, but is inappropriate for someone who has just introduced themselves mere minutes before. Nevertheless, she attracts Michelle's vanity when she proposes she take a look at her house for a potential makeover.

You'll be ahead of the story from minute one, otherwise why would we be asked to concentrate on this pair? But even if you had not watched the trailer, you could tell Linda was off her rocker thanks to Precious Chong (daughter of stoner comedian Tommy Chong) and her wide-eyed, grinning physog which telegraphs things will turn menacing before long. Initially, she simply comes across as desperately lonely, with nobody to talk to and certainly nobody she could count as the kind of gal pal she evidently yearns after, but as she devises ways to stop Michelle leaving, from pre-noon cocktails to watching an actual eighties VHS, we grow suspicious.

Rightly so, since once the heroine decides it really is time for her to make her excuses and leave, a scuffle arises that sees Michelle knocked unconscious and dragged up to a bedroom where she is locked in. You could tell this was a Canadian movie and not an American one because the house most of this takes place in was not absolutely enormous, with vast living spaces in every room, but that sense of claustrophobia was well implemented once the reluctant visitor was trapped within. There followed an escalating war of trying to behave like a reasonable adult in the face of an antagonist who is tragically stuck in her teenage years and wishes everyone else to conform to her limited worldview.

This lived or died on its performances, and Chong and Essoe, who co-wrote with director Zach Gayne, more or less shared the screen for the whole film, verbally sparring with pointed dialogue that may strike a chord with anyone who has been in a socially awkward situation, though one hopes not one as over the top as this turns. Linda's antics were billed as horror, though aside from wielding a sledgehammer she did not resort to horror tactics until the relatively short project was almost over and the blood began to flow. As a representative of how the twenty-first century can have a detrimental effect on the sanity of those ill-equipped to deal with its ego-driven habits and casual humiliations, Homewrecker was a compact, if digressive, little item that showcased a couple of well-observed readings, and if it could have provided more to get the teeth into, it didn't wear out its welcome. Strange guitar solo score by Doug Martsch.

['Homewrecker' Digital release 24 May 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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