Presented by Super Channel
Directed by Zach Gayne
Hosted by Director and Screenwriter Zach Gayne, Producer Josh Mandel and Actors Alex Essoe and Precious Chong
Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne
Alex Essoe, Precious Chong, Kris Siddiqi
Lex Emanuel, Zach Gayne, Josh Mandel, Ben Umstead
Gary Chan, Zach Gayne
Industry Standard Films
The shackles of Canadian politeness are the source of nightmares in the pop-horror-satire, HOMEWRECKER. Michelle (Alex Essoe) meets Linda (Precious Chong) at a yoga class. Linda’s wide-eyed enthusiasm is clearly off-putting, but Michelle’s aversion to conflict makes it difficult for her to brush off the increasingly pushy woman. Things escalate once Linda asks Michelle to redecorate her home and refuses to let her leave. Written by director Zach Gayne and the film’s two stars, Precious Chong and Alex Essoe (who wowed us with her breakthrough performance in STARRY EYES back in 2014), HOMEWRECKER has an unusual tone informed by late 1980s pop sensibilities. With the energy of a Jane Fonda workout tape, the movie escalates into the uncanny, especially as it deals with gendered expectations surrounding femininity and romance.
Capturing so deftly the need for self-assertion, the movie draws horror, comedy and discomfort from Michelle’s inability to say no. Her fear of causing a scene leads her to become entangled in a bizarre hostage situation driven by her need to appease rather than assert dominance. Tightly comic, the film’s attention to aesthetic details on the level of music and image contribute to its delirious, watchable tone. Doug Martsch produces the music, which has shades of pop and melodrama, while the soundtrack is bolstered by a truly delicious Lisa Loeb moment. All of this is glued together by the two central performances: a demurely neurotic Alex Essoe and a manically obsessive Precious Chong. While drastically different, they are two sides of exaggerated feminine ideals driven to their self-destructive extremes with little regard for bodily autonomy and self-worth beyond the confines of a heteronormative romantic relationship. – Justine Smith
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