- Rev Horror
Heart of the Home
Dir. David Palmieri (2022)
When two young friends need a new roommate, they find one who makes wigs out of human hair. Things go about as well as expected.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
There’s nothing worse than getting a new roommate, right? You have to learn to deal with a brand new person with new habits, idiosyncrasies, and schedules, and it takes a while to get used to all of these changes. If they start doing things like screaming at the neighborhood dog for being sweet and adorable, bullying their new housemates to get their way, and making odd concoctions in their room that make it look like they have a five alarm fire brewing, things can easily go from bad to worse. Tall fences make good neighbors, after all, and three unrelated people sharing a tiny apartment is against God and nature. Director David Palmieri and writers Sami Sonnesso and Elisabeth Steen-Nokleberg take aim at this awkward social situation in 2022’s Heart of the Home, an indie comedy thriller that gets a lot of bang for its limited bucks.
Steen-Nokleberg also costars in the film with Mia Ando as Natalie and Miko, two roommates who are forced to get a new third after their current roommate moves out to get married. Kimiko (Yukina Takase) is their bizarre new cohabitant, who has many strange habits that Natalie and Miko begin to see as possibly nefarious. Granted, if the person applying to rent a room from you tells you that they make wigs from human hair, that’s gotta at least be some kind of red flag. The film retains its humorous streak as it transforms from an eerie horror into a psychological thriller, with Kimiko getting crazier and more difficult to live with by the minute.
The acting in this is fantastic, though some of the dialogue seems stilted at times due to the accents of the main characters. Steen-Nokleberg is the star of the show, which makes sense since she wrote the damn thing, and while the movie moves forward in a relatively straightforward and predictable way, I actually found that the lack of twist was more of a twist than had it not progressed the way that it did. It’s an incredibly entertaining movie, and Steen-Nokleberg does an excellent job of portraying a character who is in way over her head while managing to maintain fantastic chemistry with her costars, especially boyfriend Darren (Matthew Ryan Anderson), as the two characters (and actors) seem to very badly want to jump each others’ bones.
Who this movie is for: Indie horror fans, Psychological thriller lovers, The Japanese
Bottom line: Heart of the Home is a fun little indie thriller, not one that delivers anything surprising or new, but definitely one that is more enjoyable than most. It’s streaming free on Tubi, so it’s certainly an easy and cheap watch that I would recommend to anyone who likes psychological thrillers. While it’s certainly not perfect, any gripes that the audience may have is more than made up for by the charming appeal of Steen-Nokleberg and the oddball psychopathy of Takase. I definitely recommend checking this one out if you get the chance.