HOME SWEET HOME **** France / Canada 2013 80 mins

Writer-director David Morlet joins the trend for grim home-invasion movies (ILS, THE STRANGERS, INSIDE, KIDNAPPED, etc.) with this strong picture, which opens with an audacious dialogue-free 20 minute sequence entrapping the audience with the invader, following his methodical actions in detail long before we meet the protagonists. Morlet possibly has an underlying agenda about torturing middle class families with lovely homes, since he portrays the man of the house (Adam MacDonald) as a smug jerk, though his pretty wife (Meghan Heffern) is much more sympathetic.
They arrive home to find all the doors and windows nailed shut and the masked intruder all set for a night of torment. Aside from a couple of hackneyed fake “sting” scares, this variation on the long-forgotten HIDER IN THE HOUSE finds real chills in the simplest of shots, like the killer posing for a photograph with a victim bound to a radiator. Brutality is portrayed discreetly rather than gratuitously, and Morley’s measured style (all slow, encroaching zooms and imposing doorway-framed widescreen shots of the silent madman) enhances the pervasive tension. It’s fashionably pessimistic, with a cynical revelation about the killer’s identity and a hope-free ending.
Review by Steven West

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