Happy belated New Year! It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me, but I’m back! So, without further ado, I’m just going to jump into it. As I’ve mentioned before, if you’re a reader of my reviews, you know I’m a fan of a good horror anthology. Lucky me! I just finished watching Free to A Bad Home, which is the latest offering from the writing/directing team of Kameron and Scott Hale (Entropy). As always, grab a goody, sit back and get comfy while I tell you if this film is worthy of being given to a bad home or if it should be forgotten altogether.
Overall, Free to A Bad Home is a weird, trippy, slow burn of a watch. However, it’s darkly twisted enough to keep your attention, which is appreciated as this film has a runtime of two hours.
Essentially, this movie is about a found box of cursed items and the effect that the objects have on the people who are unfortunate enough to encounter them. This doesn’t sound like anything new, but I have to say that the Hales have raised the horror anthology to a new level with the way they’ve added some new twists and turns to the formula that we’re used to.
For instance, the three tales are each uniquely presented rather than obviously connected to one another. You must pay attention to every little detail or else you might miss the one thing that makes sense in order to link to the next tale. The pacing of each story is up and down and it’s easy to miss important aspects that figure into the big picture of things. This might sound annoying, but it really is kind of cool how it works, and I think it’s why it comes together as well as it does. Now, at some points, it does become kind of frustrating and turn into a “what-the-fuck-am-I watching?” experience but stick with it.
The first story is called, “Amy”, and it has to do with a young woman (Miranda Nieman) who’s dealing with grief after losing her husband. She tries to cope by hanging out with her bestie and booze. So, what could go wrong, right? Naturally…or unnaturally, someone winds up dead because of reasons or things. Oops?
The second tale is called, “Ryan”. Ryan (Jake C. Young) is a thief who’s going about his business of breaking and entering when he comes upon a safe. He wants it open, of course, but how’s he going to make that happen? Well, the answer lies in the chained-up woman who’s across the room from him. She says that if he frees her, she’ll open the safe for him. But is it just that simple?
The final tale is called, “Julia”. Julia (Olivia Dennis) and her druggie friends go to a rogue Halloween party in the middle of nowhere where they really don’t know anyone. To make matters even more strange, the few people there are all in masks, and there’s a big coffin for some reason. It also seems Julia and her friends are unknowingly the guests of honor for a special summoning.
In wrapping this up, the Hales have done a great job of bringing the art of dark storytelling up several notches. Free To a Bad Home was a good time with a solid cast, beautiful cinematography, satisfying gore and kills, and a great score to help bring an original idea to light. All in all, I recommend you guys give Free to A Bad Home a watch when it’s released on digital February 17.