SAFER AT HOME is a new thriller with a very interesting concept. It’s based in this very familiar pandemic world where people communicate via video chat. Unfortunately, the story just isn’t very believable to me. Read our full Safer at Home movie review here!
SAFER AT HOME is a new pandemic thriller shot via video chat in real-time. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve already watched the awesome horror movie Host which became a huge hit on Shudder. That one came out six months ago, which makes this new movie feel a lot less fresh or innovative.
Recommended reading: Our review of the Shudder horror movie Host here >
Also, while Host had a supernatural element, it still felt more believable to me than the plot in Safer at Home manages to be.
Continue reading our Safer at Home movie review below.
A pandemic life in 2022
There are several plot bits and dialogue pieces that just do not work for me in Safer at Home. We’re meant to be in the year 2022 where several mutations of the COVID-19 virus have meant people are still in quarantine. Also, many millions of Americans have passed away and yet the characters still don’t seem to have made peace with it.
I’m not saying they should be happy with it, but it just really does not feel like they’re used to this life despite being an additional year and a half into this “new way of life”.
Also, I see the actor’s earpieces on several occasions and it completely breaks the illusion that this is in any way real.
The unrealistic way of shooting
I actually love both found footage and other forms of POV [point of view] shooting, where a smartphone or laptop is used to film everything. Movies such as the earlier mentioned Host is a great horror example and Searching is a great thriller-mystery example.
As far as Safer at Home is concerned, there are so many wrong choices along the way!
Who the hell brings their phone along with them, when their significant other is having a panic attack and wants to talk. Also, how is it that the phone or laptop is always placed to create the perfectly centered shot?! That doesn’t even happen when you’re having a normal video chat now. It definitely would not happen when experiencing the many (many!) issues they encounter.
Also, when you’re being chased, you do not run with your phone filming your face. Especially not while filming horizontally. And who the hell would point a spotlight on their white t-shirt while hiding in the middle of the night?! There is a lot wrong with many of the scenes in terms of being even remotely believable.
That Safer at Home ending
Finally, the ending of Safer at Home? Oh please, talk about trying to include all the issues of 2020 into one story. Hey, I’m all for shining a light on important issues. However, in the case of this particular storyline and how things had played out so far? It’s more counterproductive to the points I think the movie would hope to make.
Also, the plot twist at the end of Safer at Home? Been there, done that. As this movie evolved, it was all too easy to predict and it is hardly something new. I’ve seen it several times before, and always better executed.
Look, I realize I come across as sounding pretty damn pissy, but I’m actually “just” disappointed. Safer at Home had promise and despite the minor issues with cringey dialogue and weird decisions early on, I believed it would get better. Instead, it just made all the wrong choices possible along the way.
Watch Safer at Home On-Demand
Will Wernick is the director of Safer at Home and this is the fourth feature film directed by him. The third one we’ve reviewed here on Heaven of Horror and my least favorite so far. Even more so because he has a concept that could really have worked. Will Wernick also directed the 2017 horror movie Escape Room and the 2020 horror-thriller No Escape.
You might like: Check out our No Escape movie review here >
The story is by Will Wernick, John Ierardi, and Lia Bozonelis with Wernick and Lia Bozonelis writing the screenplay. This could have been really good if the story had been more believable. Also, for the love of all that is filmmaking holy, do not use POV by way of smartphones and laptops if you can’t make it believable. Just don’t!
If I were you, I’d want to check it out for the concept (despite the story not being great) and just to relate to the characters. Also, I really did like the fact that this is set in 2022, and suggestions are made regarding the world at that time. All that worked really well for me and could have improved the movie, if it had been incorporated even more. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
Safer at Home is out in select theaters, on VOD and Digital on February 26, 2021.
Director: Will Wernick
Writers: Will Wernick, Lia Bozonelis, John Ierardi
Stars: Jocelyn Hudon, Emma Lahana, Alisa Allapach, Adwin Brown, Dan J. Johnson, Michael Kupisk, Michael Kupisk
Two years into the pandemic, a group of friends throw an online party with a night of games, drinking and drugs. After taking an ecstasy pill, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside.