Dir. Sam Mason-Bell (2022) A woman has a premonition of her death the night before moving into a new house.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Made for just $1000, Sam Mason-Bell’s new indie film Home Is Where I Lay is an interesting discussion on the inevitability of fate and the fact that you can never truly know another person. Battling paranoia and a borderline complete mental breakdown, Lilly (Annabella Rich) is trying desperately to maintain her faculties while adapting to her new home that she shares with Joe (Jackson Batchelor). To say she is not doing well would be an understatement, and between her auditory hallucinations and her waking nightmares, she is barely able to keep things together.
As an indie film, Home Is Where I Lay isn’t a bad effort. It definitely has its flaws, largely its snail-like pacing and limited story. The two actors present in the film did an adequate job, with Rich being the clear highlight of the film (and the only one present for 90% of the runtime). The sound mixing was a bit lacking at times, with the music too loud to understand a lot of the dialogue. The actual dialogue, when you could hear it, had an echoey quality indicative of either poor microphones or poorly set-up microphones. That being said, there were some extremely jarring moments that were punctuated by the stereotypical sounds that usually accompany horror scares. They were different, though, filled with bizarre intonations instead of the standard screeching violins or loud crashes. This helped the film to maintain an eerie feeling, even when not a whole lot was happening on the screen.
There are some scary moments, and this is definitely a slow-burn psychological thriller that is an interesting story if you can look past the faults. The cinematography was nice, providing the audience with a look inside Lilly’s head at a time in which she’d rather not be there herself. It’s a mindfuck of a movie, and it certainly serves that purpose well. Mason-Bell has a great idea here, and while I don’t think that it hits on all cylinders, it hits on the ones that matter. It’s a startlingly accurate depiction of mental illness and the disconnection of reality that comes with it. Definitely worth a look.
Who this movie is for: Indie horror fans, Slow-burn horror lovers, Lonely housewives
Bottom line: While not without its faults, Home Is Where I Lay is a decent psychological thriller that is well worth checking out if that’s your thing. There are some genuinely creepy moments, and both Annabella Rich and Jackson Batchelor do a better-than-average job. It is definitely a bit slow and the audio could use some work, but it’s quite an accomplishment on such a small budget. It feels much more like a complete movies than a lot of the other indies that you will come across, though it would’ve perhaps worked a bit better shaving around twenty minutes off the runtime. Definitely worth a look, though, and I have a feeling it will do quite well on the awards circuit.