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Home Movie

The kids are far from all right in "Home Movie."

The kids are far from all right in “Home Movie,” a Val Lewton-esque, no budget horror pic that applies a “Blair Witch” aesthetic to a psychotic family yarn a la 2009 Palme d’Or winner Michael Haneke. Freshman scribe-helmer Christopher Denham’s chilling four-handler features “Heroes” star Adrian Pasdar as the clan’s abusive, alcoholic father with an iffy sexual upbringing — but he’s not the worst of them. Inventively using home video footage that starts off cheerfully and slowly becomes terrifying, film is the perfect antidote for camera-yielding parents, and deserves inclusion on the household DVD rack.

The Poe family (natch!) seems to be living happily enough on their isolated homestead, so why are little Jack (Austin Williams) and Emily (Amber Joy Williams) acting so weird? Maybe it’s because their dad’s (Pasdar) a priest and their mom’s (Cady McClain) a shrink. Or because their folks can’t stop documenting every last activity with a DV camera. Before long a child revenge fantasy kicks in, first subtly (a dead frog here, a rock thrown there) and then ferociously (poor cat, poor parents). A rambunctious Pasdar more than earns his paycheck, and five-and-dime tech package is aces.

Home Movie

  • Production: A Moderncine production. (International sales: Worldwide Film Entertainment, Los Angeles.) Produced by Andrew Van Den Houten, William M. Miller. Directed, written by Christopher Denham.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), William M. Miller; editor, John T. Miller; music, Ryan Shore; production designer, Emilie Ritzman; costume designer, Michael Bevins. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 19, 2009. Running time: 76 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Adrian Pasdar, Cady McClain, Austin Williams, Amber Joy Williams.
  • Music By: