Distributor: Image Entertainment
BBFC Classification: 15
Director: Brian C. Weed
Starring: Jim Tavaré, Rae Latt, Lexi Giovagnoli, Branden Lee Roth, Alex Dobrenko, Randi Lamey, Jesse Ferraro
Labelling a film a homage to ’80s slashers means that it has some pretty big shoes to fill, especially as we’ve had nearly 40 years to live with and, in some cases, reappraise the dozens of titles that came out in the wake of John Carpenter’s Halloween. And Halloween is a good place to start because as soon as Bloody Homecoming begins there is an ominous piano-led score that is desperately trying to set a familiar tone.
And then we get to the setup, where a group of high school kids are on their way to their annual homecoming dance. One of the kids, Billy (Jesse Ferraro), has arranged a secret party in one of the school buildings but the party turns to tragedy when Billy gets locked in a store cupboard and accidentally starts a fire, getting burned to death while his friends are outside. Three years on and those involved are planning their latest homecoming dance, but one by one they get picked off by somebody in a fireman’s outfit and carrying some very sharp tools.
It probably would have made more sense to put the word ‘My’ in front of the title as the plot and image of the killer in My Bloody Valentine loom large over this film. In fact, everything in Bloody Homecoming is lifted directly from an ’80s film that you’ve already likely seen and as none of it is any better than what has been done already it begs the question as to why you would want to watch this. The biggest and most obvious flaw with the film is that the acting (if you can call it that) is some of the worst seen outside of a daytime soap opera – and that’s being kind – but when you set unconvincing acting and unlikeable characters against a background of such utter blandness with no edge to it whatsoever you have to wonder who thought this was good enough to put out.
Bizarrely, British comedian Jim Tavaré (who gets the highest billing, so that tells you something) appears as a caretaker who seems to have wandered straight out of a Scooby-Doo cartoon (they probably couldn’t get Michael Berryman) and, to be fair, he’s probably the most identifiable character here amongst all the blank-faced nobodies. And somebody ought to be brought to task for the most offensively obscene portrayal of a gay teenager ever seen in a film, although quite whether it is the scriptwriter or Branden Lee Roth (hopefully no relation), the ‘actor’ who plays him, who is more at fault is unclear.
The argument will be that the slasher films that Bloody Homecoming is emulating were full of bad acting and ropey directorial decisions but even the lamest Halloween or Friday the 13th sequels had some redeeming features, namely a sense of fun and at least one character you could tolerate until the inevitable gory climax. In its favour, Bloody Homecoming does do quite well with the gore (when it happens) and there is an attempt to set up some tidy camera shots but it really isn’t enough when you have quite possibly the lamest script ever written on the back of a cigarette packet delivered by a cast so wooden they were probably treated for dry rot between takes. The slasher film is something that many filmmakers have struggled to get right in recent years, with a few notable exceptions like You’re Next, No One Lives and the Hatchet series, and Bloody Homecoming is quite possibly the most vanilla and pointless of them all, the biggest plus being that it makes the dreadful Friday the 13th remake look like a genre-defining classic.
Special Features: None.
UK Release Date: 10th March 2014