DON’T LEAVE HOME is a reflection of truth. One of the trials of being an artist is that one often finds themselves in compromising situations due to the promise of money. Nothing good ever comes of it but it happens again and again. Melanie (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is an artist whose current work was reviewed before it was completed. Feeling this a major blow to her career, she sulks until receiving a request from Father Alistair (Lalor Roddy), the main subject for her current work. He invites her to Ireland to create a new piece and with the lure of wealth and approval, she is on her way.
Once arriving, she finds herself isolated in less than desirable circumstances. Housekeeper Shelly (Helena Bereen) seems to run the show a little more than she should and there is often a look of pain and dread in the Father’s eyes. Though this is off putting, it’s nothing compared to the nightmare that follow. What is going on here and what is it that the Father isn’t telling her?
DON’T LEAVE HOME is a solid film that breeds a special kind of horror. It isn’t interested in shocks or jump scares but rather the ability to linger. You will watch and enjoy and maybe get a little creeped out. But the real scares come when you turn off the light, lay in bed and try to sleep. Director Michael Tully has done a fine job of keeping you invested in Melanie’s odd journey. Probably the best thing about it is the fact that you never know quite where it is going or where it will end. There are many twists and just when you begin to lament the ending it turns it on its ear.
Foreign horror is hard to nail for an American audience but DON’T LEAVE HOME delivers with power and class. It is a film you can watch and enjoy but scream at when you think about it later.