Don’t Leave Home is an Irish horror film directed by Michael Tully. The plot sees American model maker Melanie Thomas (Anne Margret Hollyman), travel to a remote part of island to take a commission from a disgraced priest Alistair Burke (Lalor Roddy).
This film has been called a lot of things “Ireland’s equivalent to Get Out”, “A modern Wicker Man” and thought to some extent I can see what people are saying with the second quotation, that is not how I would describe it. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this film, I enjoyed it and it kept my attention and there truly isn’t anything else out there like it, it is also incredibly obtuse and confusing and I would never choose to watch it again.
During the rest of this review I am going to go into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it stop here as I really think if you’re going to watch it you should go in blind.
That said let’s get into it, this film reminded me in a lot of ways of something like Midsommar, in that it even after watching it, it still doesn’t really make sense until you watch it a few more times. There is an art house approach to horror that seems to be at the core of these sort of films that can come across as pretentious at times, but personally I think this film was one the right side of the line.
The premise of this woman traveling to Ireland to make a model for this former priest isn’t in and of itself scary, the fear comes from how quickly the situation sours once she gets there, there is an intense uncomfortability that runs throughout this film; you know it is going to end badly and then it does.
I still don’t understand how the priest’s paintings makes people disappear, or go to heaven as the film says, frankly I think the twist doesn’t really make any sense it just kind of happens midway through and you are left to pick up the pieces and make some sense of it. I think the whole sequence with “the collectors”, and the auction was weird and didn’t feel like it belonged to the same film as everything else, it was jarring.
Overall, I can’t really end this by saying watch it, or don’t watch it, as I still haven’t really made my mind up about it. It is definitely not something you have ever seen before and it is staggeringly original, if a little inspired by modern art house horror hits, I would say if that description appeals to you then check it out.
Scary and troubling.
Obtuse and hard to understand.
It ends with a whimper rather than a bang.
Reviewed by Luke