The script is just as strong as the direction. The opening with Rita and Dennis in the woods establishes what the married couple sees in each other, as well as the issues they are facing. The film wisely plays with Chance’s mental state, so neither the audience nor the main characters are certain if they should believe him at any point. This leads to several agonizing moments where the viewer is on the edge of their seat to find out what Chance will do. Without spoiling anything, the ending is fascinating and absolutely works within context.
Of course, none of this would be worth it if the characters were not worth investing in. Happily, formidable writing creates engaging leads, and a remarkable cast fleshes them out into fully rounded people. Humphreys brings her frustrations toward Charmant believably, while never going so over the top as to be a cartoon. Dennis asks about an axe standing upright against Rita’s nightstand. She calmly explains how tired she is of feeling unsafe in her own home. It is a small moment, but it speaks volumes about what the character intends to do.
Charmant is just as good. He has more a temper but can be talked down easily enough. When yelling for Rita to come and talk to Chance with him, there’s an immediacy in his voice that sells the danger and fear. Hammer is terrific as the possibly helpful, probably crazy Chance. I don’t want to give a lot away, but he is terrifyingly convincing.
“…style can be used to mesmerizing, eerie effect…”
Then there’s Kate. Danielle Evon Ploeger is brilliant as the unstable, possibly murderous, perhaps already dead character. A number of her best scenes are spoiler heavy, but she nails the change in tone and attitude of Kate. Typically, in any given scene, she has to be flirty and slightly innocent before barrelling into a violent rage that seems to be brought on arbitrarily. There’s never a false moment or unbelievable word spoken.
At around the hour and ten-minute mark in Home With A View Of The Monster, the only flaw emerges. A montage of the married couple attempting to go about their everyday lives while dealing with the supernatural issues at hand. The problem comes in the form of the song the montage is set to. It is an upbeat, almost happy number that is at odds with what is happening to the characters. Perhaps, the incongruity of the two elements is the point. If so, it does not work. And if it is unintentional and the Greenlees just like the song, it does not fit in the context or tone of the story. In an otherwise brilliant, intense, mysterious film, this moment sticks out as awkward.
Home With A View Of The Monster takes on the parable horror genre and smashes it with a marvelous mystery-thriller. The script and direction by the Greenlee brothers are both high caliber, gripping stuff. The cast nails it, and all share great chemistry across the board. But then there’s that one montage that prevents it from being absolutely perfect.