Tuesday, 8 March 2016

home video

home video is a found footage movie that combines video footage of the diaz family moving into their new home in the mountains with documentary-style interviews filmed after the family went missing. it becomes clear early on that the diaz family didn't make it through the first night in their new home and the film attempts to uncover the truth about what happened to them.

while it all sounds simple enough, co-writer/director emmanuel giorgio sandoval and his fellow writers zaidal obagi and robert a. trezza attempt something rather complex and impressive with the narrative for this film. essentially this is a murder mystery, except we don't see the murder until the end of the film. the video footage alone would not make for a particularly compelling story but the interviews add layers of intrigue to everything we see on camera. suddenly suspects begin to emerge and even the most innocent of exchanges between family members take on a air of underlying menace. the interviews essentially point the audience to the subtext, which in a narratively shot film would be a huge mistake but here it really works.

there is also a possible supernatural element, which fits in quite nicely because you can take it however you want. ultimately, the truth is left for the audience to determine and there is just enough evidence to suggest paranormal forces are responsible as there is to point to a human perpetrator. this idea of the audience as detective is another factor that really makes home video work, particularly when combined with the fact that it's not until the final minutes that we really begin to get a sense of what may have happened to the family.

performance-wise the actors are all very convincing, but special mention has to go to steve jacques who plays bruce, the dad in the family. as the character who literally drives the action in the beginning and takes charge when the family arrive at the house, jacques has to dominate every scene that he's in and he does a great job in this respect. it has to be said that commitment to realism overall in home video is very impressive, although for me it lost a little of its edge in the final minutes. there was something in the way that the deaths were filmed that felt somehow forced compared to the naturalism of the rest of the film, but that could be down to the dramatic change of pace in the third act.

overall, this is a really accomplished found footage horror movie that attempts something rather bold and different in the way it chooses to tell its story. i can see the ending dividing viewers, but if you don't mind doing a bit of your own thinking when watching a film then this is for you.

if you are interested in seeing home video, it's available right now via the streaming service at foundfootagecritic.com. click here to go directly to the page where you can rent the film.

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