Homebound (2021) 

When a father and his new spouse visit his children in the countryside, something seems off from the start as their mother is absent. As things evolve, it becomes clearer and clearer that is something is very, very wrong. 

Written and directed by Sebastian Godwin, Homebound has some good ideas, but their execution is stretched thin. The film feels like a short film extended into a feature without adding all that much to the story. While some of the story ideas here are good, once put together, the film becomes quite predictable. From the synopsis, some viewers will know exactly what is going on. The film takes its time to get there and is done in a way where almost none of the characters are relatable and where the viewer will not really want anyone to be the winner (if you will) at the end. People here are almost all dislikable from the father to the children. This makes it difficult to really connect with anyone and to want to keep watching what happens to them and around them. 

Now, that being said, the performances are fairly good with Aisling Loftus as Holly and Raffiella Chapman as Anna being the ones whose performances come on top here. The work from both ladies show they have a grasp of emotions and how to perform them in a believable manner. While their characters are not necessarily people you’d want to watch for hours, their performances make it more tolerable and easier to watch this film. The rest of the cast is composed of just three other people and they do decent work, but once again are saddled with almost unredeemable characters which leads to the viewer not connecting with them and really not caring what happens to them at all. This lack of connection and care leads to just not really caring where the film goes or what happens on the screen, may it be shocking or just mundane. 

The film does look good with cinematography by Sergi Vilanova Claudín and editing by Rachel Durance. The location is amazing, both gorgeous and creepy in a modern Hammer Films’ kind of way. This helps the film along a lot and helps create some tension in scenes where it is desperately needed. 

Overall, Homebound is predictable from its simple set-up to its ending, so any sort of tension there is in the film is not long lasting and doesn’t really build up. There are a few good ideas here and there and the cast is decent with Loftus and Chapman giving the film life. However, this is not enough to keep the interest and make this better than a short film extended into a feature without adding any extra interest or story point. Homebound would have made a much stronger short film.