Sweet Home Score, Lead Actress Compelling Addition to Home Invasion Thriller
Sweet Home Film Details
Director: Rafa Martínez
Release Date 2015 (Spain)
DVD (R2 Only)
A young real estate broker is planning a romantic meeting with her boyfriend in an old apartment building. But the couple is forced to fight for their lives, when a group of murderers is trying to kill them.
Sweet Home informs us right away:
50,000 evictions take place in Spain every year. 85% happen peacefully. 13% by force. 2% by other methods.
Evidently, other methods are the tagline of this English spoken Spanish film. We’re used to watching home invasion thrillers and they work if the setting and the tone are good. Sweet Home fits this theory. Sweet Home tells the story of Alicia, a real estate agent (played by Ingrid Garcia Jonsson), that decides the most romantic way spend her numb boyfriend Simon’s anniversary (played by Bruno Sevilla) is to hang around in a peculiar building.
Unfortunately, the night does not go as planned as mask men come to “evict” the last tenant through outright force brutality leading them on a cat-and-mouse game fighting for their lives. Sweet Home is a 2015 Spanish slasher film directed by Rafa Martínez from a screenplay he co-wrote with Teresa Rosendo and Ángel Agudo. The Julio Fernandez produced film is being distributed by Filmax Entertainment (the [REC] franchise, Summer Camp, Fragile) and has released on DVD & Bluray in Europe.
The cinematography, the leading lady, the antagonist and the score are the strongest marks for me. I remember watching the film for the first time last year and sending out a tweet to Ginés Carrión, the score composer, pointing out how much I enjoyed it. He worked on Evil Dead (2013) and Don’t Breathe both helmed by Fede Alvarez. The music of Sweet Home reminds me the electro vibe of the work of French producer Rob Maniac.
The score transports you to that specific setting where the story takes place: a creepy almost-abandoned building we haven’t seen since the first [REC] came out. It’s the perfect mixture of unsettling cinematography, great colors, and contrast with a strange electro music, especially during the opening credits. I know, that good!
The cast is solid all around, the two leads worked with what they could, but Jonsson shines as the Final Girl. She carries everything fresh and interesting even when the film reaches a few lower moments. We cheer for her till the end and we worry for her.
The antagonist is the creepiest. It has no strings attached to any human. He is The Boogeyman, the man that strolls yet catches its victims every time; and in this film it kind of works. It doesn’t seem forced or at all cliché. The good part is that you’re watching a home invasion thriller with excellent action, good pace and running time and a large amount of respect for slashers.
Martínez has learned from the greatest like John Carpenter and Wes Craven. It features an opening sequence we all embrace; it includes great killings (including bloody ones) and an awesome Final Girl.
It seemed there was a lack of imagination on some conversations between the leads… Or maybe it was the director’s idea to insist on reminding us of their life-drama? Not that interesting. First, we don’t have enough information about their lives, only that Simon has economic difficulties and that he can’t get a decent job. Should we feel sorry for him? He is a jerk with Alicia who is only trying to give him the best birthday she can offer for him to forget his problems for a minute.
Second; they have many scenes together where they only talk about his life-problems. Is it that necessary? To keep the viewer invested in the film, the director should have either explored a little more the background of the characters and their relationship before the events or not at all and embrace it with less emotional moments about their current lives outside the building.
Sweet Home has a lot to offer. Even if it brings nothing new to the table, you should catch it for at least the second or final act and its amazing setting. The building is the most frightening aspect of the film but the powerful performance of Johnson and the creepiness of the opponent are powerful elements for this Spanish thriller to work.
Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive