17th Jan2020

‘This is Our Home’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Jeff Ayars, Drew Beckas, Riggsby Lane, Simone Policano, Omer Rosen | Written by Omri Doran, Robert Harmon | Directed by Omri Dorani

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Directed by, and based on the story by Omri Dorani (How to Get Girls) and written by Rob Harmon (Cosmos), This is Our Home is a low-budget psycho-horror about a struggling couple who head out on a weekend break, but have everything turned upside down when a child shows up at the door in the middle of the night with a big revelation that he is their son.

Dealing with psychology of relationship, a crumbling wall of a marriage in tatters, the film does a solid job of introducing the characters and bringing in a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere pretty early on. The tale of a couple attempting to save what is left of their relationship is done well, with damn fine work from the actors. Jeff Ayars plays Cory and Simone Policano plays Reina, and the quiet sadness they portray is nicely played. When the story takes its turn to the thriller/horror territory with the introduction of Zeke (Drew Beckas) things begin to somewhat fall apart in terms of how well everything works, in my view.

With the shoestring budget that the director worked with here, there’s a lot to appreciate and respect about the movie, and the actors mostly do a nice job throughout, but the story, while a bit messy and odd from the start, goes from an enjoyable delve into a difficult marriage to an oddly frustrating final twenty-minutes or so. Still, the tension is on-point and I think Dorani did a good job at bringing in horror tropes that helped inject something of a creepy tone to the proceedings. Thomas Taugher’s cinematography is wonderful, it must be said. I enjoyed his work on Fruitvale Station and it was nice to see an accomplished worker here, giving a strong visual hand to This is Our Home.

A fairly short film (a mere one hour and thirteen minutes) with limited resources at their disposal, I think there’s plenty to like and enjoy about This is Our Home. It could have been creepier, could have been clearer and less muddled, and the performances, at times, could have been shined up a bit more, but I enjoyed this. Strong lead performances from Ayars and Policano, a nice unwelcoming tension, the film does some good things, but in the end it does feel a touch unfinished like a metaphorical holding in of a sneeze. It’s a hard one to rate, because I enjoyed it, but also felt like it could have been a lot more than it was.

**½  2.5/5

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