Thursday, September 17, 2015
HOME SWEET HELL (2015)
Directed By: Anthony Burns
Written By: Carlo Allen, Ted Elrick & Tod Lavagnino
Cinematography By: David Hennings
Editor: Robert Hoffman
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Jordana Brewster, Katherine Heigl, James Belushi, Chi McBride, Kevin McKidd, A.J. Buckley, Bryce Johnson
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
Don Champagne seems to have it all: a successful business, a perfect house, perfect kids and a perfect wife. Unfortunately, when his wife, Mona, learns of Don's affair with a pretty new salesgirl, this suburban slice of heaven spirals out of control. Don soon realizes that Mona will stop at nothing, including murder, to maintain their storybook life where "perception is everything".
A dark comedy that by the end just seems cruel for no real reason. After an interesting set-up
It seems aimed at having is feel some sympathy for monstrous characters only right before their Demise.
It also seems determined to jam pack as many vices or bad behavior into and on the screen. Despite it's mostly suburban surroundings, but for either no reason or very little as it goes nowhere except for a sight gag or to add action though it is not needed.
So that it feels like the film is putting up a front to engage the audience. While not having enough confidence in itself to fully entertain and captivate.
Patrick Wilson, is starting to get too familiar in these types of roles. Here he is again playing an Every man with a wild side. Desperately trying to escape or make sense of it all. So he succeeds in a role we have seen him play plenty of times before (STRETCH, BARRY MUNDAY, LITTLE CHILDREN) the typical mid-life crisis to the extreme type. He is good at it but still, just a little too familiar.
Katherine Heigl stars in the film as a perfectionist who rules her home and marriage with an iron hand. Who goes into overdrive to keep her families reputation spotless and their record clean. When she learns of this infidelity and worse the shakedown for money. It feels like She is typecast in this role and only starring as it seems to be a natural role for her. Considering how the tabloids and the media have colored audiences and pegged her as cruel and cold. To an extent the same as her character here, but not as extreme. She doesn't make her character likeable. She is committed in the role and takes to it with glee.
Katherine Heigl real life husband 'Josh Kelly' provided all soundtracks for this film The real surprise in this film is Jordana Brewster. Who other then FAST AND FURIOUS movies is rarely seen in anything. Else. So it is great fun to see her break out of that mold to play a femme fatale and be one who is willing to be so graphic on screen it was surprising. I only wish she was in more of the film and I hope she stays on this path in future roles. Getting s chance to show her range. I can't say it's a star making role. As she isn't given enough to do. She is more of a cog for the films mechanisms.
I hate to admit this but films such as these depend on the strength of their femme fatale and it doesn't always involve looks. It can be attitude, demeanor, believability, Reasoning. Like the term Diva. It’s too commonly used. When in actuality it is something to be earned. Of course here we use the term as a certain type of female character in a film or book.
That is what the film has majorly as Jordana Brewster is not only good looking enough, but though you can see it a mile away. Believable enough to see why his character wouldn't cheat. As her character is the exact opposite of his wife. Where the film fails in this scenario is in it's rush to get to the finish line and set the plot moving. As soon as her character is introduced she is all over Patrick Wilson. Instead of getting to know him, then trying to deduce him or it being a chance moment. That they decide to consummate.
It seems to be her characters mission to have sex with him and get him. As in other scenes she shows also shows her uninhibited side. She plays the role well but like she is trying to prove something. Maybe be seen in a different way as an actress
So that later when her origins are revealed it seems likely. Even if the wardrobe doesn't and the surroundings seem out of character. Even her associates do. As she seems more refined. Though it would have been nice for the film to build up the momentum of the seduction. Make it a little more tension filled. Then worth the quickness and ease it seems to take
Also the film makes it understandable why he would have this affair. As it seems to reinvigorate him. Yet, Still runs home To mommy in a way at the first signs of trouble. Yet wants us to sympathize with him Yet making it seem Like he is trying to do the right thing. That seems a little cruel more to the female characters, making them seem like monsters. They have their problems but he is the one who gives them the final push to their metamorphosis.
Not only him, but it seems males in this movie. As the females try to be strong and in control. Thinking they know how to control and get what they want. Until the males push them to the edge with demands, violence, traps and secrets. --Yes. I am probably looking at this film too deeply. But that is because though i didn't expect much. It was so close to being good or at least acceptable.
The plot is gruesome but never in a way that you truly feel it half the time it's played for laughs. Leaving the film to feel like it has no depth or spirit. Though at certain points towards the end it begs for sorrow.
I have seen TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Episodes that have more compassion.
The film is occasionally funny, but once Ms. Brewster leaves the film so does most of the interest and fun
Especially in scenes where a character is killed only because she is a witness and another is liked after the film has us sympathize with them And see the pressures they are under
The ending even feels a bit sexist as on one hand it involves stopping a human monster in it's tracks, but on the other hand. The creator of this situation and monster seems only willing to do it as because he sees the emasculation of his son and his daughter being raised to be an alpha. Just like the circumstances of his marriage.
The metamorphosis of Heigl's character is the large part of her personality and actions early on. So because of her sociopathic nature. It is no shock she becomes a willing serial killer of sorts. Maybe spree killer? The film reminded me of VERY BAD THINGS in spirit. Where as, at least this film doesn't seem exploitive it reveling in it's bad behavior
It seems to know at times when to pull back and not go too far over the line. Though it seems to try.