During a small "welcome-home" party, an unidentified man shows up with a briefcase full of razorblades and hijacks the party, forcing each person in the house to identify someone that they hate. Not long after, an unknown masked-hooded figure shows up and starts killing people off in the most gruesome of ways. It isn't about survival anymore once the killer starts picking people off from the party, but rather if they can find the killer before he finds them and get some revenge.
Here seems to be a movie that came out of nowhere, or it could be from the fact that I live under a rock but that is neither here nor there. I really had never heard of the movie until I was checking out Synapse Films release list, even then I still didn't know much about it. Finally it came recommended to me by a friend, who didn't really disclose much other than it was worth checking out. I must say after the first viewing, I seemed to be back at square one as I had no idea about what I had just watched. I knew it had Bill Moseley and some badass gore, but that was about gist of it. After some repeated viewings, either I finally paid attention to the movie or it just finally clicked with me. Either way, I realized what I had watched was one of the more impressive unknown underground horror movies recently.
I know a few other people who have viewed it, were a bit lost in terms of what the story was and the connection between characters, much like I was. Though it wasn't until I watched it a second time that I realized that key points to the story are told in the beginning. Which if you aren't paying attention, they'll fly right past you and you will most likely get confused as the movie progresses. One of the important scenes to understand the character connections comes from Bill Moseley's character, Mr. Suitcase, who crashes a small gathering of friends. He goes around the room asking each person, who is someone they hate and after they answer he slices up his arm with a razor blade from his suitcase. Now don't get sidetracked by Mr. Mosely's charming personality and the bloody scenes of him slicing his arm. As each person who is named, an image of the person appears in a flash which if you don't remember these faces, you'll scratching your head trying to figure out who they are down the road. After Mr. Suitcase's little song-and-dance number is over, he puts the goods away and makes his way towards the exit, leaving the group of friends scared and confused.
This where the story gets good, as a hooded figure dressed in all black descends upon the town, killing people in the most gruesome of ways. A knife in the back of the head here, a curb stomping there, maybe even a little foot slicing...That's not even scratching the surface, but what kind of person would I be to spoil the good stuff? At first the killings seem to be random, but it's slowly revealed that the people dying are connected to the ones who were at the party. This is where paying attention to the scene with Mr. Suitcase comes in handy. Not just that scene though, but to understand the story of the hooded figure you have to pay attention to the opening credits. Yes I know, that's usually where we all hit the fast-forward button, but I promise you. If you skip over that part, the big reveal in the end about the mysterious killer will not make any sense. This is where I give the director, Adam Wingard, credit. People have said the story is a mess and is incohirent, but it's actually not. Wingard doesn't hold our hand through the movie and waste time trying to make sure everything is explained to make sure the audience keeps up. Instead he subtly gives us the information that we need and just leaves it up to us to put the pieces together. Once everything becomes clear and is understood, do you begin to appreciate the clever and unique tale that has been given to us in what appears to be a gory slasher-package.
Speaking of gory...Oh mama, does "Home Sick" have some excellent gore and death scenes. The gore in here, to me, ranks up there with other recent underground treats like "Gutterballs", "The Gateway Meat", and "Fetus". It's just plain old nasty, in-your-face, balls-out gore that doesn't hold back. The SPFX done for these sequences is top notch, and doesn't ever look cheap or cheesy.
The only negative aspect that I could find about "Home Sick" would be some of the acting. It's tolerable for the most part, could be better, could be worse but there are just certain points where it seems the characters should be responding different, or in other cases are way over-the-top. This will be very obvious during the dinner scene, towards in the end. There really isn't much I can say about that scene, but I will say this, when you get there you better buckle in, because you are going to be in for one hell of an over-the-top nutzoid ride.
All in all though, "Home Sick" is fun ride that soaks the scenes with some of the best bloody-gory sequences to be used in recent horror movies, both mainstream and underground. If you seen any of the movies I mentioned above, like "Gutterballs", "The Gateway Meat", "Fetus", etc. then I do believe "Home Sick" will be worth your time.