A young woman is hired to house sit for a rich couple last minute and without really knowing them. During the house tour, she is told to not bother with the gated section of the basement. Soon after, the couple leaves, she makes herself comfortable. That is until her ex and his friend show up just before an assault happens on the house. Seemingly, there is something there that they want.
Written, directed, produced, and filmed by Chris Rakotomamonjy, this film wants to be a ton of things and fails, a lot. There is a so much in here, from the story of a struggling artist to the stalker ex to the castle in the woods to mercenaries to a twist that just ugh. There is a ton and it all comes off a bit convoluted. There’s not real direction for the film and while it could have been a fun home invasion film, it turns into a film that wants to be an action film of the 90s and missing the point entirely. There are fights, some of them are decent, but most of them come off not so well-choreographed when hand to hand combat is at play and just silly with guns come out in some cases. There is a story here that could have been trimmed by a lot and given a tighter script to become something quite tense.
Now, the cast is doing what they can here to make this more fun and more entertaining it feels like. Lead Chloé Guillot gives a more than decent performance for most of the film. However, in the fight sequences, she seems a bit out of her depth and like there is not enough directions on how to make it look real. She has some decent scenes in the action, but overall, her lack of experience with on screen fights shows and the fights she is in come off like either she was afraid of getting hurt or the choreography was not quite tight enough. Most of the cast supporting her are decent in their work, but one must be brought up on crimes against acting. Unfortunately, or fortunately for him, his name is not listed on the IMDB page for the film and the film will not be rewatched just to catch his name. This man plays the head honcho of the bad guys and chews scenery in a way that can only be described as absolutely horrendous. Leaving his performance in the film leads to many questions and sadly no answers here.
As an action fan, one of the points that sold this film for a viewing was the fight choreographer whose previous work includes stunt work on From Paris With Love, The Cursed, and The Taste of Others. These films could lead anyone to hoping for great stunts here. While his stunt work looks good in the film, the fight choreography is not on point. That being said, some of the capacity of the cast to perform this choreography comes into play here, so it may not all be on him. However, when working with an inexperienced cast, extra rehearsals and adjustments to the fights should and usually can happen. This leads to thing that perhaps something got lost along the way or perhaps a stuntman needn’t become a fight choreographer.
Home-Sitters is a frustrating watch. It has so much potential and wastes most of it. The acting is good from the lead and decent from some of the others, but dragged down by one terrible performance just making the whole thing nonsensical. The twist at the end is unnecessary and the film has just too many elements. The fighting is off, the way some of the scenes are shot is way off, clearly this film should have pick fewer battles to fits its budget, figuratively and literally, and should have spent long on planning scenes (a scene with a gunman shooting in a kitchen has the bullets go in every direction while the gun doesn’t move at all), etc. This has some good ideas, but overall, it’s a mess and could have used some more experienced to steer the ship.