If you ever need a visual definition of awkwardness then Homewrecker should be hanging on the wall. A film that is so awkward you find yourself cringing hard during every excruciating scene, a film that plays on the horrible social politics of being polite and avoiding conflict at almost all costs.
When Linda (Chong) befriends a reluctant Michelle (Essoe), it soon becomes apparent that Linda isn’t quite right, a bit weird and in her own world. Linda would like Michelle to redesign the interior of her house, only problem is Linda will do all she can to keep Michelle there.
Written by the two leads Essoe and Chong, the film really takes the social niceness and twists it into monster that consumes anyone that dares to subvert it. They twist it into areas of horror, humour and drama. Chong is bloody fantastic as the lonely Linda, giving that on the edge of annoying/dangerous performance that works so well within the film whilst Essoe proves once again she is one of the best actors going around today, her take on Michelle is great being so annoyingly polite to the point of unwittingly putting herself in a dangerous situation. Both of these actors are so good, that they added layers to characters that could’ve been stereotypical in hands of lessor actors.
Gayne directs the film in a mostly cinéma-vérité style, (the only exception coming with the use of split screen) that suits the film and whilst it accentuates the comedy in the film, it doesn’t quite match the horror/thriller parts of the film. Throughout the film I was hoping it would get a bit more brutal and toward the end it certainly does both physically and emotionally. A hard as fuck ending that should leave the audience off kilter after being lulled into a false sense of what is going to happen.
Homewrecker is in turns hilarious, awkward and kind of heartbreaking. A simple setup and excellent writing, anchored by two great performances, Homewrecker is a lo-fi winner.
Played as part of Fantasia Film Festival
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Fantasia Film Festival