Frightfest Glasgow: Homebound (2022)

Director: Sebastian Godwin

Running Time: 71 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Aisling Loftus, Tom Goodman-Hill, Raffaella Chapman, Hattie Gotobed, Lukas Rolfe

Sebastian Godwin's debut feature opens on a couple in a car, driving somewhere while wrapping a present and ringing an unavailable number. The nerves are apparent in Holly (Aisling Loftus), as she's travelling to meet the three estranged children of her partner Richard (Tom Goodman-Hill). Upon arriving, they discover Richard's ex-wife is missing and the children are behaving in strange and increasingly menacing ways.

As the outsider caught in the middle of this chilling situation, Loftus delivers an excellent portrayal as the caring yet visibly frightened figure. She comes along to meet her partner's family, although the time spent uncovers new sides to Richard. Goodman-Hill deliciously plays with Richard's dialogue, underlining comforting phrases with a sinister undertone, while his performance tows the line between laid-back and uncaring.

Perhaps the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the kids aren't alright. Their vodka drinking and lack of boundaries are causes for concern, while the sinister warnings hint towards tempers and violent sides lurking within this family. The trio of Raffaella Chapman, Hattie Gotobed, and Lukas Rolfe wonderfully sell the creepiness of what's happening alongside the unsettling tone emphasized by discordant notes. There may be few surprises regarding the trajectory, yet that doesn't stop the effectiveness when those moments arrive. What Sebastian Godwin has crafted is a tale about what parents pass onto their children, consciously or not, all building towards a striking finale.

Homebound played at Frightfest Glasgow. It will be available in cinemas from April 1st and on digital from April 4th.