Homecoming (2009)

Love can be painful at times. And when a couple breaks up, those involved can react in many different ways.
Some become withdrawn, sadly dwelling on the past; some go wild and enjoy their new found freedom; some may even hold out hope that one day, they will be reunited with their lover, and for a small few, this can turn into quite an obsession.

Shelby is one of those people. Although she and her high school sweetheart Mike broke up, she is still of the belief that they are together, and when he returns to the sleepy town of Mount Bliss it’s as if the whole nasty thing ever happened.
Problem is, Mike has brought his new girlfriend, Elizabeth with him. That’s always going to cause a few problems isn’t it?

‘Problems’ of course is a slight understatement in this case. When Shelby accidentally runs Elizabeth over (no really, it is an accident) she takes it upon herself to nurse her back to health. But sadly, this isn’t out of kindness and her desire to have Elizabeth all better and back with Mike. It’s in more of a Misery/lunatic sense – ‘If I keep you in bed, I can do what I like with you and my ex-boyfriend’.
Cue plenty of limping escape attempts, desperate calls for help that go unnoticed, and a few nasty measures to ensure that the patient doesn’t try to run off anywhere.

In fact, the similarities to Misery are quite striking, which is both good and bad. Good because the viewer can go through that nasty, tortured hostage experience again (if that’s what you’re into). But bad because, well, it has been done before.

Okay, so it’s not exactly the same. The motives are different, the captor is much better looking, and there isn’t a typewriter to be seen. But some details, even down to certain scenes, are all too familiar and lacking in imagination a little.

There are also elements of Fatal Attraction there. Ultimately, Shelby isn’t an evil person, she just needs some help. And the pressures of what’s going on in her life push her over the edge.
As you’ll see, Elizabeth only ends up in Shelby’s house because of some random, unlucky (and pretty unlikely) events.
Almost makes you feel guilty for wanting her to get killed or arrested – to begin with at least.

Homecoming looks great, and gives you just what you’d expect from this kind of teen college horror movie, including good looking, young cast. They all do a fair job though, and Mischa Barton was surprisingly good at playing an unhinged, once popular girl with issues. A big improvement on her role in Walled In.

This movie may not be overly original, but it is entertaining. There are some nasty moments and it generally does well to give the audience what it wants – frustration, discomfort and a level of familiarity.
As far as American teen horrors go, it’s not bad. Even if it has borrowed a lot from some pretty seminal films before it.

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

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