Assembly your important different’s household for the primary time is a social situation ripe for mining nervousness and dread. Author/Director Sebastian Godwin takes the acquainted setup and packs it stuffed with unsettling ambiance and psychological pressure. The small-scale home thriller might not forge new floor or provide lots to chew on, however Homebound does maintain you firmly in its grip all through.
Holly (Aisling Loftus) is a bundle of nervous pleasure as she accompanies her fiancé Richard (Tom Goodman-Hill) on a visit to his ex-wife’s rural property to fulfill his three youngsters for the primary time. They’ve been invited to spend time with the household and rejoice the birthday of Richard’s youngest daughter Anna (Raffiella Chapman). Nevertheless, when Holly and Richard arrive, they discover his ex-wife left Anna and teenagers Lucia (Hattie Gotobed) and Ralph (Lukas Rolfe) alone. The children aren’t thrilled a couple of new stepmom barely older than they’re and greet her with anticipated iciness. Tensions solely mount the extra Richard muddles the makes an attempt to lighten the temper. So, too, do suspicions when Holly realizes one thing is significantly amiss.
Homebound depends on its characters and character interactions to gasoline the more and more palpable dread. It’s simply 5 characters in a single location all through the whole lot of its brisk runtime, and Godwin takes a minimalistic method to let the character work shine. Loftus is immediately winsome because the nervous stepmom stranded on her personal whereas Richard will get overzealous with appeasing his youngsters. When Holly expresses reticence or reservations, Richard brazenly shoots her down for the sake of enjoying the cool dad. When Ralph practically drowns Holly throughout pool time, Richard fails to supply a lot assist. It breeds animosity because it douses the flames of dread with gasoline. Richard repeatedly fails Holly, illuminating a supply difficulty with this family pretty early.
But, with a roughly 70-minute runtime, Homebound feels too slight within the narrative. It’s a easy story advised effectively, and it packs in a few surprises within the remaining act, however the restraint in its execution hinders the affect. It’s maybe a bit too easy; the setup is a well-known one which signifies that the minimalist method could make it tougher for Homebound to face aside. It’s not motion that propels the story ahead however a sinister temper. Whereas Godwin successfully crafts claustrophobic dread, the film solely roars to life when it stops enjoying coy and lets its characters faucet into their ugly truths.
Godwin’s assured debut facilities round a younger girl ignoring all attainable pink flags out of fear, love, and a determined want for household. In contrast to many style movies of this ilk, Homebound’s protagonist is solely trapped on this eerie manor by her personal sense of obligation. The extra violence enters the query, Holly’s decisions tend to frustrate. Godwin makes an attempt to distract by means of compelling character and tension-fueled mysteries. It’s anemic on narrative depth, nevertheless it’s participating nonetheless. By means of its mood-driven ambiance, performances, and scant runtime, Homebound by no means overstays its welcome.