Official selection - Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2023
Berlin International Film Festival 2023
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2023
Sarah Naylor, Baudoin Oosterlynck
“Made in bed during the pandemic” and ingeniously structured around the stories of people waking up from nightmares that will alter the course of their life, HOME INVASION, from playful tinkerer Graeme Arnfield, is one of the most chilling cinematic experience of the year. Part experimental horror film (recalling, in its affect, 2022’s cult sensation SKINAMARINK), part nightmarish essay film framed through an oppressive peephole, this rigorous, genre-defying documentary takes the viewer through the history of the doorbell, from its ill-informed invention to the arrival of Amazon’s ghoulish Ring door-bot in recent years and its eventual effects on neighbourhood policing. This history intertwines with nascent film technologies, the invention of parallel editing by D.W. Griffith, and the genealogy of home-invasion narratives in horror cinema, culminating, stunningly, in a history of Luddite labour struggles in the 19th century.
Composed from a mix of found footage and archival patent illustrations, gleaned domestic-security footage juxtaposed with clips from home-invasion classics from Hitchcock to Haneke, all set to eerie field recordings and a tense soundtrack, HOME INVASION puts us in the middle of the nightmare to ask, “what happens when our homes and dreams have been invaded?” Interrogating the fears — both real, and imagined and therefore exploited — that drive capitalistic progress, so-called, Arnfield picks surveillance cultures apart and exposes the fear that has driven us for far too long, to disastrous effects to society: what if the call, indeed, came from inside the house? – Ariel Esteban Cayer