Indie Releases: Homewrecker (2019) - Reviewed

Call the producers of Creep. They have a psycho missing!

Honestly, this is not my idea of a horror film, although it has horror elements if you are patient.

Homewrecker has an apt title to say the least and it is highly entertaining if you enjoy a cat and mouse thriller that addresses very real aspects of relationships in general.

Homewrecker is about a woman in her late 40s trying desperately to befriend a younger woman – obsessively. At first, it has the same stalker awkwardness as Creep with the same kind of unsettling politeness of a forceful sycophant, expertly played by the two lead actresses. Alex Essoe (known for Starry Eyes (2014) and 2019 horror gem Doctor Sleep) plays Michelle, a recently married thirty-something trying to get pregnant. On the other side of the annexed coffee shop table, is the middle-aged Linda, played by Precious Chong (yes, daughter of Tommy Chong) that we know from films like L.A. Confidential (1997) and Pearl Harbor (2001).

Linda not only shares various fitness classes with the initially unaware Michelle, but she clearly leads a very lonely life of delusion and desperation. It is obvious that her mental stability has been fractured by precious failed relationships and she projects this onto the poor unassuming beauty she is trying to befriend. Her efforts are obviously deliberate and clumsy while, like any normal human being, Michelle is trying to find a way to shake off the over-zealous has-been politely. Linda practically begs Michelle, an interior designer, to come home with her to assess Linda’s self-proclaimed train wreck of domicile design.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most socially coerced pushovers, Michelle gives in to Linda’s suggestions only to be nice and it is not long before we realize that Linda is a ridiculously vivacious, but bitter spinster. 

The conversations are a bit tedious, but Chong manages to subtly reveal the crumbling walls that makes up her psyche while she flirts her way through Linda’s impotent excuses to leave. The two actresses effectively make you uncomfortable with the subsequent situation. As most of us have been victim to a family member or acquaintance with an abnormally thick skin and prying disposition, Homewrecker constantly reminds you of why you sometimes need to get your bitch on. 

Although this is an indie, the casting of Chong and Essoe proves that Homewrecker is a film with solid acting and a relatively decent script. It seems mundane until you start seeing the psychological plays of jealousy, envy and vanity rear its head inside the words of the conversations. The set-up is slightly slow, but necessarily so. 

After this, the film turns into a rollercoaster of emotion and some good roughhouse action that explains why there is a term like ‘psycho bitch’. Awkwardness spirals down into darker places of emotional abuse and mental damage that makes Homewrecker a tight little thriller drenched in estrogen.

Director Zach Gayne co-wrote the film with Essoe and Chong and uses camera angles along with bland set design to create an excellent setting for the unhinged exchanges between the two women. From my perspective, this is neither horror, nor comedy, but it is definitely a suspenseful bite of relationship tragedy worth having popcorn to.

--Tasha Danzig