Receiving it’s Irish premiere at this years Belfast Film Festival, ‘Homesick’ also serves as the inaugural film of the newly founded Dark Hedges Film Club established by the Banterflix Film Society. The intention of this new film club is to highlight the broadness of the horror genre. This will be achieved through screenings of cult classics and newer additions to the genre. Making it the perfect space for hardcore horror fans and those wanting to explore the darker side of cinema!
‘Homesick’ is a German language film from director Jakob M. Ewra. Paranoia is the main focus of the narrative here. It’s a subject present in many horror films, but one that rarely gets the attention that it deserves. The story follows a couple who have moved into a new apartment. However, Jessica, one half of this couple is convinced that her elderly neighbours have it in for her. The film starts with a collection of short scenes. An intelligent move from the director as this means the audience never have time to settle. There’s an overwhelming sense of unease present as a result. This contributes perfectly to the air of tension that the film holds. Further adding to this was the use of sound throughout the film. Jessica is a cello student and there are many scenes of her playing or cleaning her instrument. The piercing tones of strings are no stranger to horror scores but here these sounds should seem more natural considering the context. However, the clever integration of these sounds at crucial moments only increased the uncomfortable atmosphere.
The cast all do a tremendous job too with Tatja Seibt stealing the show with her performance as the elderly neighbour. She nails this role transferring the paranoia of the main character straight onto the audience. Making you wonder just who, if anyone is up to no good. Esther Maria Pietsch plays Jessica, a complicated character. She deals well with these complexities no doubt causing many varied reactions from viewers. Supporting Jessica throughout her trauma is Matthias Lier’s character, Lorenz. He holds a vital role within the narrative offering a middle ground between protagonist and antagonist. He fulfills these duties well and completes an impressive trio of performances. It’s much to these actors and actresses advantage that the writing here is so good. The story is written in such a way that its subtleties can change your attitudes and views of what you are watching before you even realise you have. It’s these impressive qualities of the screenplay that make for such an engaging watch right up until the screen cuts to black.
I could understand some finding this to be a slow-burner but there is enough going on here for a more than stimulating watch. The sense of dread achieved and maintained for the running time fits the story brilliantly. Accomplished performances help to bring the intriguing screenplay to life which will have you constantly wondering just what really is going on.
Rating – 7.5/10
Question: What is your favourite foreign language horror movie?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.
For more information regarding tickets & event details about the Banterflix screening of ‘Homesick’ click HERE.