REVIEW: Coming Home
– By Dave Dubrow
Writer/Director Shiva Rodriguez’s short film THE FAMILY WAY: COMING HOME hits all the right horror notes. It’s decently crafted, well-written, and paced just right. There are a few plangent tones here and there (to maintain the musical metaphor), but it does what it’s supposed do: leave you wanting more.
The introductory hook works, despite (or because of) its familiarity. The tied-up teenage girl, the knife-wielding antagonist, the pleas for mercy. Soon enough it veers into strange territory and gets even more bizarre from there. The less you know about it up front, the more fun you have when you see it, so mum’s the word on plot.
The performances were decent, for the most part; lead actor Nicholas Trivisonno pulls off his sinister role with creepy flair, alternating between menace and vulnerability as necessary. A few strange lines here and there tripped up the other actors, more because they had to say them than in how they delivered them.
What was particularly disturbing was the use of children as victims; it’s something you rarely see in such a graphic fashion, and added to the overall feeling of horror. The violent parts were done off-camera except for one shocking scene that the meager special effects budget didn’t pull off as well as it might have.
As it turns out, Coming Home is the prequel to an upcoming film called The Family Way. I’m looking forward to seeing what Shiva Rodriguez does with a longer-form presentation. If this short is any indication, we’re in for a treat.