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Homecoming (2008)

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Plot Summary:
"A jilted ex-girlfriend has a plan in store for her former beau, who is coming back to his small town with a new lover."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 02 July 2009 My Rating: out of 5


Homecoming is the latest thriller from American Psycho 2 director Morgan J. Freeman and the filmmaker has obviously come a long way since that film.

Mischa Barton stars (and shines brightly) as Shelby, a small town girl who just wants to be loved in this devilishly wicked new thriller, which is set to hit limited US theatres on July 17th.

Whilst her football star boyfriend Mike went off to college on a scholarship, Shelby stayed behind to take care of her sick mother. When Mike returns for his high school homecoming weekend, Shelby hopes to pick up where they left off, but Mike has his new girlfriend Elizabeth (the beautiful Jessica Stroup) in tow. Shelby pretends not to care, but deep down she's hurting and a chance encounter with Elizabeth on a deserted country road later that night, gives Shelby the chance to get Mike back. With Elizabeth now being held hostage by the deranged Shelby, Mike thinks he's been dumped and begins to fall for his wicked ex-girlfriend. It's up to the badly injured Elizabeth to try and escape before Shelby gets rid of her forever.

Homecoming is essentially a mix of Fatal Attraction and Misery for the Gossip Girl generation, but it's remarkably mature considering its target audience. Mischa Barton's role really is a departure for her and she treads the line between sympathetic and psychopathic really well. Matt Long's Mike is good looking enough to be worth all the carnage and Jessica Stroup is a suitable nice girl as Elizabeth, but doesn't really get that much to do. She's a great actress and capable of so much more than the screenplay sadly allows her.

The film itself is well photographed and looks great, with lots of nicely lit night time scenes, effective set decoration and solid practical effects work. There's also a really great cover version of David Bowie's Modern Love by The Last Town Chorus which features prominently in the film.

Whilst Homecoming offers nothing new in terms of story, there's enough going on elsewhere for this to be an effectively enjoyable indie thriller, so if you're looking for a new take on an old tale, Homecoming has it all, a great cast, tense atmosphere and a memorable villain.

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