26th Sep2017

‘The Domicile’ Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Steve Richard Harris, Demetrius Stear, Katherine Flannery, Sara Malakul Lane, Amanda Ritchie | Written and Directed by Jared Cohn

domicile-poster

Playwright Russell Brody is plagued by writer’s block. After the accidental death of his pregnant wife, Estella, Brody shuns the outside world and falls deep into depression and alcohol. Can Brody’s creative partner, David, save Brody from himself?

Or…

Russell and Estella Brody is a successful, young couple preparing to start a family. However, bound in the upstairs bedroom, Estella’s sister, Samantha, is a violently mentally ill woman who claims to speak to demons. Is Samantha telling the truth? What terrors do the forces of Hell have in store for our couple?

Or…

A year after the death of his pregnant wife, playwright Russell Brody is haunted by strange occurrences around his home. Is Brody’s wife trying to communicate from beyond? As Brody’s past sins come to light, maybe Estella doesn’t want to communicate at all. Maybe Estella wants revenge.

Or…

Brody types on his laptop. Brody drinks. Brody smokes weed with a friend. Brody uses the toilet. The End.

You can find all of these movies and more in The Domicile; a poorly paced and poorly acted “horror” film from the mind of Jared Cohn. I have reviewed other Jared Cohn films before and I’m beginning to notice a subtle pattern – I’m not a fan of his work. About halfway through watching this, I realized The Domicile is the type of film that I would make and that’s a terrible thing to say to a filmmaker [Editors Note: To be fair to Cohn, his body of work has divided the Nerdly team – half of us enjoy it and the others… less so]. I truly believe this is a slapped together story that was shot cheaply, quickly, and thrown onto VOD for a quick buck. Rinse. Repeat. It’s this kind of assembly-line horror flick that cheapens the genre and makes the rest of the competent filmmakers look dumb for making them, and the viewers look dumb for watching them. Granted, they can’t all be Get Out or It Follows, but is it too much to ask they try to be Boots On The Ground? All we want is a little effort.

The Domicile feels like the outlines of four other movies thrown together and filmed over a weekend. The script makes very little sense and raises more questions than it answers. Was Samantha possessed by a demon? Did a demon kill Estella? If the ghost of Estella is seeking revenge against Brody, where did the demon go? And are we’re supposed to hate Brody for being a bad husband, when Estella’s ghost(?) actively murders several of people? That’s way worse than anything Brody has done.

The acting is over the top, at best. Many of the scenes feel adlibbed. Characters talk in circles with no real point. One scene between Brody and his friend, David, is literally just Brody yelling at David and David repeating everything Brody says back at him in the form of a question. This movie is dumb! Oh, you think this movie is dumb, huh? End scene. Adlibbing is great if you’re Paul Rudd in a Judd Apatow movie. But if you’re unlucky enough to be cast in a Jared Cohn flick with a vague script and only competent enough directing to point a camera in your face, you truly are in a horror movie.

If my point hasn’t been made, The Domicile is under whelming. There’s no reason to watch this or force a friend or loved one to watch this. Unless you hate them, in which case you also deserve to be stalked by your mentally ill sister-in-law, or demon, or ghost of your wife, or mistress.

The Domicile is available on DVD and VOD now from MTI Home Video

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