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Homecoming (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)



Starring Mischa Barton, Matt Long, Jessica Stroup, Michael Landes, Allen Williamson, Joshua Elijah Reese, Nick Pasqual, Joe Forgione, Alex Hooper, Denise Dal Vera, Byrdie Bell, Amanda Jane Cooper, Mary Griffin, Logan C. Sayre, Benjamin Jeran McGinn, Emily Martin, Olivia Duball and Danielle Simone.

Screenplay by Katie L. Fetting.

Directed by Morgan J. Freeman.

Distributed by Paper Street Films.  88 minutes.  Not Rated.

The world is full of bogeymen – barbaric monsters who come from the night to terrorize the innocent.  In movies alone they are all over the place – Michael Myers, vampires, Freddie Krueger, Frankenstein, Jason, Kaiser Soze, The Ripper, Jigsaw, Mischa Barton…

Mischa Barton?

Yes, the former OC heartthrob and fast-lane celebutant gets her psycho on in this not-terribly-original but still kinda gripping B-movie horror flick.  While I don’t think that people are going to start buying Mischa Barton masks for Halloween, she does a pretty decent job of playing the twisted ex-girlfriend from hell in this colorful low-rent mash-up of Misery and Fatal Attraction.

Barton plays Shelby, a beautiful small-town Pennsylvania girl who runs a debt-strangled bowling alley and had cared for her mother before mom’s recent death.  She stayed home while her BMOC football star boyfriend Mike (Matt Long of Jack & Bobby) went off to Northwestern University on a football scholarship.  He is under the impression that they have broken up.  Shelby doesn’t see it that way.  Therefore, when he returns home to have his football jersey retired by their high school and he brings his new girlfriend Elizabeth (Jessica Stroup of 90210), all the seeds are sown for an uncomfortable weekend.

At first Shelby seems to take it well, even going out of her way to befriend the new girlfriend (and getting her ragingly drunk at the same time).  However, when Shelby accidentally hits Elizabeth with her car on a dark, barren road, she takes it on herself to take care of the interloper – her way.

She essentially imprisons Elizabeth in her house – in the guise of helping her heal – and at the same time tries to win back the heartbroken Mike, who believes (due to a text sent from Elizabeth’s cell) that his girlfriend needed time alone to reconsider their relationship.  Mike is resistant to getting back with Shelby, but he does nearly slip when she throws himself at her one drunken night.  Still, he can’t forget Elizabeth.

However, Shelby won’t be ignored…

Sorry, wrong movie, but though the character never physically says that, everything she does screams it out.

Therefore, Shelby decides that the only person standing between herself and happiness is currently restrained to her bed.

Uh oh, wonder where this is going?

A late revelation that Barton may have poisoned her mother daily and watched her wasting away until she dies also brings a chilling memory of one of Barton’s first childhood film roles in The Sixth Sense – as the ghost of a girl who was slowly killed by her mother, who suffered by Munchausen’s by proxy syndrome.

Unlike that film, no one will ever consider Homecoming a horror classic.  In fact, if you really think about it, not a lot in the movie makes that much sense and the plot relies way too much on coincidences.  Still, despite the fact that there is nothing really original or overly surprising about Homecoming, as B-horror movies go it’s actually not half bad.

Alex Diamond

Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 13, 2009.

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