A heartbreaking and horrific tale of loss and regret, “This is Our Home” is a beautifully written, directed, and acted film that leaves a lasting impact.
The loss of a child can be a breaking point for a lot of couples, and the grief that follows can make someone you once loved turn into a complete stranger. Using those defeating and devastating effects and telling one hell of a story around them, director Omri Dorani’s THIS IS OUR HOME is not only a very effective thriller, but it’s a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Written by Robert Harmon, THIS IS OUR HOME immediately shows us Cory (Jeff Ayars) and Reina (Simone Policano), a once close couple who find themselves arguing and fighting more than they don’t. We know that the couple have been through something traumatic, but that past isn’t fleshed out all at once, and for good reason.
Story-wise, we’re given more of a mood and feeling than any explanation during the first ten minutes or so with THIS IS OUR HOME, and establishing that mood is crucial for a film like this.
By the time we do get more and more of the puzzle of what happened, we as a viewers are already involved on an emotional level.
There’s a pain in the way that the characters of Cory and Reina talks to each other — a deep resentment that has, in no way, been addressed in a healthy way. Taking some time to visit Reina’s childhood home, the young couple argues and fights. And when Cory has a trouble fixing a flat tire, as viewers, we begin to see who the issues fall on. Reina is in pain, and it shows. The scene regarding the tire shows that, instead of talking about things or even seeing Reina’s pain, Cory is self-absorbed and refuses to see what Reina sees.
While all of that might seem more in line with an Alejandro G. Iñárritu film, THIS IS OUR HOME pulls the rug out from under your feet.
During the first night of staying in the home, they hear a knock at the door. When they open it, there stands a little boy — lost, hurt and needing to come inside. Already an eerie setup, the boy then begins to call Cory and Reina Mommy and Daddy, something that Reina doesn’t mind but that Cory finds almost violently problematic. It’s that moment when we realize the true trauma that the couple is dealing with: the loss of a child.
As the film goes on, we see who demanded that they didn’t have a baby and the deep-rooted anger and pain that Reina faces because of it. The character of Zeke, the child, is like THE BABADOOOK in some ways. THIS IS OUR HOME plays with that same idea: you can turn your back on your trauma, but it will never go away if you choose not to deal with it.
Between Dorani’s direction, Harmon’s writing and two exceptional performances by Ayars and Policano, THIS IS OUR HOME is a beautifully heart-wrenching thriller.
It’s one that shows how powerful genre storytelling can be, using metaphorical ideas and themes as a way to really make you think about the characters you’re watching — and telling one hell of a story while doing so.
Brilliantly paced and full of grief and retribution, this is definitely one to watch for.