Written and directed by Kenta Osaka and Hirohito Takimoto, Tokyo Home Stay Massacre follows three college friends — Spencer (Will Harrell), John (Alex Derycz), and his significant other, Sarah (Diana G. Laura) — as they embark on a trip through Japan. They stay at the home of a Japanese family to immerse themselves as much as possible in the culture.
While John and Sarah hope this adventure will allow them to forget about the abortion she just had, Spencer hopes to gain a better understanding of Japan, or so he claims. While the host family sleeps, the three grab a camera and begin filming inside the house (to what end remains murky). As the trio films, they enter the one room they were forbidden from going in and are immediately captured and tied up. The next day, the family begins hurting them in various ways, eventually forcing them to decide who will die first. Can the three friends escape with their lives? Will the audience care?
“…the trio…are immediately captured and…the family begins hurting them…”
The answer to that last question is not in the slightest. Part of that is the number of tropes Osaka and Takimoto trot out one after the other. Dramatic backstory to create empathy? Check. Extra points are awarded as the information about the abortion is a clumsy exposition dump that slows everything down to a crawl. A forbidden room that the bland protagonists enter? Yep, that’s here. Seemingly unrelated people are in on the massacre? Why yes, the unimaginative screenplay does have that as well.
Suffice to say, the storyline of Tokyo Home Stay Massacre is predictable, leaving the audience uninvested and boring. It does not help matters that this so-called horror movie is not scary in the least. Even by judging it by the Saw definition of horror (intriguing set up and lots of gore), it fails. The filmmakers do not know how to create tension or sustain an ominous feeling of dread. Of course, if the practical effects and fake bloodshed were better, then maybe it’d be worth watching once, but they aren’t, so it is not.
"…this so-called horror movie is not scary in the least."