Heading Home DVD Review
Written by Rosie Fletcher
Film released by Reel Sweet Betty Filmgroup
Written and directed by Jane Rose
2007, 10 minutes
Ean Sheehy as Edward
Jenny Mundy-Castle as Marie
Chuck Bunting as the Butcher
Based on a story by English author Ramsey Campbell, Jane Rose’s short is a sincere and enjoyable little chiller. A mad scientist, a love triangle, pills and potions and a visit from ‘the butcher’ form the backbone of this story, told in shadowy corners, through keyholes and behind curtains. Grisly sound effects and an intrusive and ominous score ramp up the tension — reasonable special effects and some well placed gore will raise a smile and a shiver.
Short films can be a tricky medium to work in — with little time for character development or complex story arc, it’s often ‘set-up and punchline’ type pieces that lend themselves well to the format. This type of short is never going to be to everyone’s taste, but within its own boundaries Heading Home is a neat, lean and well-rounded piece. It’s got a decent sense of fun, without ever resorting to smug knowingness and the cast - with a special mention for Ean Sheehy, enjoyably manic as Edward - hold their own. It’s a rather old-fashioned tale, although that’s not to say it’s especially dated; the film is rather reminiscent of the Tales of the Unexpected series. Heading Home was shot on mini DV on a micro budget, and so of course the picture isn’t of the quality of film, but this is hardly to the detriment of the piece. In fact, the only really noticeable compromise is the setting — you can’t escape the fact that it’s a conspicuously modern house, despite attempts to dress and light it for the story.
By its very nature, Heading Home is slight, but Rose obviously has an eye for detail, a love of the genre and a good sense of humour. Give her a few quid and some new source material and she could be one to watch.
Want to comment on this review? Head over to the Horrortalk Review Forum.