This is Our Home Summary and Review - A Parent's Nightmare

Reina: Simone Policano
Cory: Jeff Ayars
Zeke: Drew Beckas
Director: Omri Dorani
Writers: Omri Dorani & Rob Harmon
Release: 2019

"This is Our Home" explores the dynamics of a fractured relationship, against a backdrop of mystery and emotional discord. As the story of Reyna and Cory unfolds, we are met with flashes of their past interwoven with a present bedevilled by unresolved issues and an unsettling encounter with a boy who claims he is their son.

It kicks off with Reyna (Rey) and Cory heading out to her childhood home for some space to try and repair their relationship, with just a hint as to what lies behind their current struggles. They seem to be genuinely in love but vacillate between displays of affection and vicious bickering so clearly, there is work to be done. We are given glimpses of happier times but it's clear that they harbour a traumatic secret creating a tension that lingers throughout the film.

On their first night at the property, after a pleasant evening of wine and romance, the couple are disturbed by the the unexpected arrival of Zeke, whose cryptic behaviour, and the connection he forms with Rey, introduces an eerie undertone to the narrative.

Zeke refers to the couple as Mommy and Daddy but their initial confusion is soon overcome when Rey quickly connects with the boy while, unexpectedly, Cory goes to bed. During the course of the evening, Rey and Zeke play together before Rey is enticed into her father's study by Zeke. The study has already been a source of an argument between Rey and Cory and, under strict instruction from her father, Rey has never entered it. From there, events escalate culminating in an uncomfortable and unsettling conclusion.

The tale is imbued with emotional discomfort, as it explores the dark recesses of the human mind and the fears within. There are scenes that made me uneasy and, in this way, it challenges traditional horror norms but promising elements never really came together to form a consistent narrative and, ultimately, it was an unsatisfying experience.

There were bright spots as, despite a minimal budget, "This is Our Home" made the best use of its resources, which I always admire. The lighting and camera work were used to interesting effect throwing curious shadow and giving a sense of eeriness. It was well acted by the leads, their scripted arguments were believable and the quirky editing added visual interest. However, the film fell short of being a successful horror or psychological drama. There were unsettling moments such as when the timbre of Zeke's voice altered slightly provoking vague discomfort about what was to come or the mystery behind Rey's father's study but these themes never developed into anything more than teasers that failed to deliver a dramatic reward.

Despite emotive performances and atmospheric tension, there wasn't enough in "This is Our Home" to make it memorable. Overall it was under-cooked and slightly baffling with unanswered questions by the bucketload. While some viewers may appreciate the ambiguity, others may find it lacking in substance and narrative depth,.

I wanted to like this film and while there were some highlights, I came away disappointed although, despite its flaws, the film does manage to provide some intrigue and provoke thought, which will perhaps leave an impression on those open to its unconventional approach.



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