Homewrecker is a dark comedy that smashes the boundaries of relationships and cultural norms with a sledgehammer (literally). Directed by Zach Gayne and written by Gayne, Alex Essoe, and Precious Chong, the film is a crazy-pants stalker thriller that takes some wild turns.
Michelle (Essoe) and Linda (Chong) are two women whose paths happen to cross again and again—at the gym, at yoga class, at the neighborhood coffee shop. One day, Linda inserts herself into Michelle’s path with a clumsy and somewhat forced introduction. Wanting to be friendly, Michelle agrees to have coffee with her, which quickly turns into a spontaneous consultation when Linda insists on bringing her new friend back to her house for some interior design advice.
Once there, Linda, aggressively hospitable, is determined to bring their friendship to deeper levels. She tries to engage Michelle in conversation, probing for the details of her life and insisting she stay for a drink, and then a movie. Michelle, never wanting to make waves, politely agrees to Linda’s requests when she can’t “soft no” her way out of the situation. As Linda’s demands become more and more intense, it becomes increasingly difficult for Michelle to remove herself. This sets the stage for a darkly comedic and very revealing examination of human interaction and relationships.
On the surface, Linda is a lonely woman. She aches for companionship and connection. Her early interactions with Michelle seem innocent enough, if a little thirsty. She desperately wants a friend. She knows what friendships are supposed to consist of, but can’t really find an organic way of getting there. It makes her character an entertaining blend of awkward, creepy, and just a little sad. Precious Chong does a magnificent job of bringing her to life. She gives Linda just the right balance of instability and heart to make us sympathize with her when the scene calls for it, but also cheer Michelle on when she tries to break free of this strange relationship.
Speaking of Michelle, as odd as it may seem, Linda’s desperate need for a friend also helps her examine some of her own life decisions. Through Linda’s ever-present desire to talk boys and relationships, Michelle begins to consider some problems in her own relationship in ways that she hadn’t before. Over the course of the film, the two find that they have more in common than they realized (and not all of them good).
The film takes a few unexpected turns along the way, and even includes a fight sequence that goes full-on Looney Tunes (and includes the aforementioned sledgehammer). Together, Gaine, Essoe, and Chong have created a taut thriller that is as funny as it is horrifying.
Visit our online hub to catch up on all of our live Fantastic Fest 2019 coverage!
Movie Score: 3.5/5