Another film making it’s British debut at Frightfest 2014 is Home, also known as At the Devil’s Door.
In short, it’s a demon/devil deal, and you know what that means, the evil being wants to possess people and ultimately have a baby that will probably be the anticrist and bring about the end of the world.
But it’s there that the assumptions can end and the true values of Home shine through as it’s so much more than another devil movie.
A young girl, blinded by love somehow ends up selling her soul to the devil (we’ve all been there, right?) and unfortunately the deal is real. But when she moves on and the family home is sold it seems that the evil force that is probably the devil (or at the very least a seriously nasty demon) hasn’t gone away.
Leigh is brought in as an unsuspecting estate agent tasked with selling the cursed house, but very soon she realises that the evil being has plans for her too and the ones around her that she loves the most.
And it’s easy to think that all of this is just far too familiar, and it would be if it weren’t for a few crucial ingredients that make Home very watchable, pretty scary and fun to watch.
Straight off the bat the film is intriguing from its spontaneous beginnings to the inexplicably creepy happenings that take place whilst the film is just starting out.
The film does then step back to familiar territory, perhaps too familiar, looking like just another The Pact rip-off. It generally suffers from being yet another film about a girl who is terrorised in her home by a creepy unseen male force that wants to do sexual things to her in a supernatural way. Just like The Entity and a whole heap of other films since.
But again, just when you think that you know exactly what’s going to take place there’s another turn (to call it a twist may be exaggerating things a bit) that catches you off guard and demands that you re-assess everything again. This is a core attribute for a decent modern horror film given that so much territory has been covered and re-covered. And although I’ve not seen every Devil/Demon/Possession films out there, the journey didn’t bore me and kept things fresh enough to entice me further.
Home is a dark and brooding film. The scares come mainly in the form of jumps and shocks, with creepy things being caught in relections and stuff like that, but even these events are done well and the general feel of the film is well tailored and filled with good acting, convincing dialogue and expert technical delivery. It’s no surprise (when you do a quick bit of research) that Home is actually written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy (writer and Director of The Pact). But putting that knowledge aside and looking at the film for what it is – a modern take on the whole creation of the anticrist story – you really can’t complain.
It’s original enough, scary enough and interesting enough to stand alongside the likes of Rosmary’s Baby and The Omen, even if it lacks their originality and notoriety.