Don’t Leave Home (2018)
1h 26min | Thriller | In Theaters September 14
Synopsis: After recently unveiling her new sculptural exhibit on Irish urban legends, artist Melanie Thomas is contacted by Father Alistair Burke, a reclusive Irish priest who, legend has it, once painted the portrait of a young girl who later disappeared on the very day her image vanished from the painting. Now, summoned by Burke and his cohort to the Irish countryside for a special art commission, Melanie eagerly accepts the offer, never stopping to consider that some urban legends might be true.
Review: The new film DON’T LEAVE HOME from writer/director Michael Tully has all the right ingredients for a tasty thriller but I found it a bit lacking in flavor. Not enough to send it back but just enough that I was hungry a few hours later for something more substantial. (more below)
I enjoyed the gothic nature of this one. The blend of an urban legend, a creepy Irish mansion, and a dark secret society is engaging even if in small doses. It is interesting that the main character Melanie (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is an artist because I found myself at times watching this film for its artistic value as much or more than the story. The cinematography is beautiful and adds to the depth of the tone.
The script does have its moments with just enough to keep the viewer hanging on. Like Melanie you need to know the answers once the questions and mysteries arise. So you tag along with her until the end. Hollyman is easy to follow – in a good way – and I enjoyed her in this. She puts you at ease which is a good balance in a creepy thriller. Her demeanor makes the jump moments more impactful.
I won’t give away too much of the plot and for sure the ending needs to stay fresh for the viewing. It is far from a mind blower and the part I found the most lacking. Making a strong film in a genre as saturated as this is not easy and I do applaud the effort. Michael and his team gave us stunning visuals and an intriguing premise.
DON’T LEAVE HOME is unrated and geared toward the 16 and up crowd. If you have to feast on everything in this genre you will find it a tasty snack; just not a filling entree.