Anyone Home? (2019)

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A single mother and her son with much more than they expect in this indie thriller that is a meshing of some serious issues that still exist today.

Camila Torres and her son Jaime have been offered an opportunity to move into a beautiful home. One in which they must clean up and prepare for an open house. Camila is also in charge of attempting to call local homeowners about the possibility of home break-ins and if they are okay with their security systems. However, Camila is suffering for mental illness and the pressures of the new job begin to get to her. Despite taking her medication, she resorts to stealing from the local craft store despite her various attempts to woo the manager out of a jam.

At night, Camila begins to hear strange noises and think that someone is nearby. However, it usually resorts to nothing. As she becomes more unhinged, Jaime begins to seriously worry about her mother and her boss Brenda is unhappy with what’s been going on in terms of the position. At first, Camila may think nothing is going on and perhaps it’s her illness taking over. However, that becomes the least of her worries as a mysterious man slowly begins to hatch a plan to break into the Torres home. When Camila finally finds the man, she attacks him and resorts to desperate and potentially dangerous motives to ensure her son that nothing is wrong.

This indie horror thriller from director Patrick Cunningham (who co-wrote the script with William Day Frank) is quite haunting in the sense that it revolves around a serious issue today in the form of mental illness as well as the taking a page of the home invasion angle. The film starts out with a visually surreal look through the eyes of young Jaime, played by Luke Ganalon. The visualization that everything is seen in this room is white with the exception of a remote-controlled black widow spider is a premonition of what we are about to see. The movie can be said to be about a potential black widow, but one that comes from the mere fact that this is one whose motives come from something that proves to be a factor in certain situations today.

Monique Gabriela Curnen churns out a very emotional to maniacal performance as Camila, the single mother who has the opportunity to start over with her son. Things start out quite well for Camila and the son. However, it is perhaps clear that this is a woman whose husband perhaps left her or may have died and caused the suffering she must have endured that forces her to take lithium. However, as seen throughout the film, Camila slowly stops taking her medicine and becomes extremely unhinged to the point that she becomes convinced that her husband is coming back and that she is planning to buy the house that she has moved into. To her, it’s doing what it takes to make the perfect house and it’s her downward spiral that causes her to slowly unravel in a web of dangerous crimes.

The legendary Kathy Baker makes the most of her screen time as Brenda, Camila’s new boss, who is a bit unhinged herself but more in a professional boss sort of manner who wants things perfect. Jon Jon Briones plays craft store manager Mr. Fan, whose charms by Camila tends to let her off the hook while Keram Malicki-Sanchez brings a bit of comic relief as craft store worker Dean, who at one point references a certain horror film he appeared in six years ago, Texas Chainsaw. Jasper Cole brings in a sense of mystery as well in the role of Walker, who intends to break into the home and when he finally executes his plans, gets more than what he expects as well. It is the many twists and turns that make the film stand out.

Anyone Home? Is a very haunting thriller that tackles the mental illness angle in a sense of both the fantasy and realism of a woman affected by it and her attempt to keep her home perfect, no matter what it costs.

WFG RATING: B

A High Window Films in association with Buffalo 8 Productions. Director: Patrick Cunningham. Producer: William Day Frank. Writers: Patrick Cunningham and William Day Frank. Cinematography: Jayson Crothers. Editing: John Lee and Valerie Krulfeifer.

Cast: Monique Gabriela Curnen. Kathy Baker, Luke Ganalon, Jon Jon Briones, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Maree Cheatham, Jasper Cole, Cici Lau, Victoria Cruz, Jill Jordan, Sunny Vachher.

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