HOMEWRECKER **** Canada 2019 Dir: Zach Gayne. 76 mins
Linda (Precious Chong) is a lonely lady in her late 40’s going through a bit of a tough time. She befriends Michelle (Alex Essoe) a meek, mousy 30 something, interior designer who recently got married. They meet at the gym and then again at their local coffee shop, Linda invites Michelle to her house with a view to her redesigning it for her. Linda traps Michelle in her house and things quickly escalate from there, she forces her to watch movies, play board games and talk about boys. When Michelle tries to make a break for it things start to get violent and Michelle soon starts to realise that Linda may know more about her life then she first made out.
Written by Gayne, Chong and Essoe with tongue placed firmly in cheek this ode to fanatic/stalker movies such as MISERY, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE and THE ROOMMATE has a lot going for it once it gets going. Very character driven you can sense Lindas crazy from way off yet Michelle seems oblivious despite some obvious hints. You get the feeling that Michelle is not quite as she seems though. The fact that she seems incapable of telling people how she really feels but you soon see a change in her as things go on. She may not be physically strong but she certainly goes through some shit however will she come out the other end a changed person?
It is not crazy all the time though, there are some moments when you think they may have found some common ground but then it all goes wrong in an instant. Linda has some great lines from ” see I told you… I am fun!” and ” they’re a family hair loom” to talking about men who ” eat their cake and eat it too” so you are always aware that there is something not quite right with her. That and the fact she wears 80’s style leotards and sweatbands, is totally obsessed with a hideous teen board game called Party Hunks and goes into a solo rendition of “Stay” by Lisa Loeb useing a dildo as a microphone! Her character is very well acted and lulls you into a false sense of security thinking of her as more misunderstood then just plain nuts…until the end that is.
It is very well shot with some great camera angles and good use of split screen to get both points of view across at the same time. Fairly light on any real violence at first but later on utilises some wince worthy off screen torture with a messy reveal that is very effective. Less is more when it comes to this one and it is well worth the wait. It has a resounding 80’s-esque upbeat soundtrack that adds to the atmosphere to embellish that fun element. It takes a little while to get into but once you do respect grows for the small cast involved and you appreciate the small doses of well placed humour as well as the fact they held back on the nasty stuff until it was really warranted.
Review by Sarah Budd