Directed by Zach Gayne
Written by Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne
Starring Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Tony Matthews
The obvious thing to say about Homewrecker is that it deals with two themes: the idea that being overly polite can lead to a dangerous encounter and how societal pressures on women cause unrealistic expectations that can’t ever be met. But to its credit, Homewrecker really isn’t that deep; it’s not a social commentary. It’s just a really fun dark comedy that happens to have two women as the leads.
Sure, they’re both at emotional odds with each other, but there’s no clear delineation that states that the outcome would be any different if the roles were gender reversed. We’re all too nice sometimes. We all stay when we know we should probably leave. Fortunately for us, we don’t wind up knocked out on the floor, trapped by a loopy lunatic on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But that’s exactly what happens to Michelle (Alex Essoe) when she hesitantly agrees to hang out with Linda (Precious Chong), a new neighborhood acquaintance she meets at the local coffeehouse. It’s clear to Michelle that Linda is in some desperate need of some attention but the tables turn when her own love life suddenly comes into question. Growing more and more uncomfortable, Michelle becomes a prisoner in Michelle’s own personal ’80s obsessed music video world. She’s now trapped in the home of the homewrecker herself.
There’s plenty of struggling and fighting in between the quieter character moments, and although it’s clear the two of them are inching closer and closer to a bloody finale, it’s almost more interesting to see them actually get along. In a hilarious but kind of touching scene where Linda forces Michelle to play a tweener VHS board game called “Party Hunks,” there’s a real connection happening that makes you think, could these two end up becoming besties? This almost intrinsic desire to share and create some kind of equal footing is probably the only example showing that this is how women, in particular, would act in this kind of crazy situation. It’s also where Linda, as the antagonist, helps Michelle the victim become a stronger person. So, in that way, Precious Chong is kind of like Rutger Hauer in The Hitcher when he makes C. Thomas Howell a better man by almost driving him crazy. To be fair though, Precious Chong will always be a hell of a lot funnier.
Although Alex Essoe kicks ass in this and offers up some serious genre credentials, Precious Chong as Linda is in the role she was born to play. I want to play an old ’80s VHS board game with her, too. Director Zach Gayne co-wrote Homewrecker with both leads and it feels intimate in that way. They were all shooting from the hip and filming in Chong’s actual house, completing the main shoot in just two weeks while Chong’s significant other was out of town. That kind of mad, creative energy wound up in the finished product. The running time whizzes by only to be capped off by a dragged-across-carpet apartment brawl that makes use of every household weapon imaginable from hair curlers to dildos. Ok, maybe Homewrecker is a little funnier because two women wrote it. A sledgehammer is featured heavily as well, so really, there’s something for everyone.
From Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’s Entertainment, Homewrecker is in select Drive-in theaters July 3 and DVD/Digital/On Demand July 7.
Never underestimate the power of kindness, especially when you’re an obsessed stalker preying on a new friend that’s just a little too nice for her own good.