Don’t Leave Home – USA, 2018

‘An Irish urban legend’

Don’t Leave Home is a 2018 American mystery horror feature film written and directed by Michael Tully. The movie stars Anna Margaret Hollyman, Mark LawrenceHelena Bereen and Karrie Cox.

Plot:

Melanie Thomas (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is an American artist whose latest show recounts the infamous Irish urban legend of Father Alistair Burke, who painted a portrait of eight year-old Siobhan Callahan in 1986.

Days later, Siobhan went missing on the very morning that her figure miraculously vanished from the painting as well. Though absolved of any wrongdoing, Burke abandoned the priesthood and went into self-exile.

After receiving a bad review before her opening, Melanie is contacted by the reclusive Burke, who offers to fly her to Ireland to create a new sculpture that he will help her to sell while she’s there. Telling no one where she’s going, Melanie never stops to consider that some urban legends are real…

Reviews:

Don’t Leave Home is a half-baked religious horror film that explores a ‘vile miracle’, which is contradictory morbid, yet Christian, but the whole mystery behind it all is too muddled and under-explained to be spooky or disturbing enough, in spite of the sinister setting and plausible acting it takes advantage from.” CineMarvellous!

“Though the film is sleepy in its pace (a hallmark of the works it admires), Tully spins three or four genuinely frightening nightmare sequences. The foreboding notes in the story might cue more attentive viewers into the twist right away, but that doesn’t matter, because the ending goes further than one might expect.” Daily Dead

“The quick zoom in shots and the music really showcase a love for that time period of filmmaking made popular by 70’s filmmakers like Roman Polanski. Faith is this film’s main tool and its used as both something beautiful and disturbing to create a polarizing sense of horror and wonderment.” Ghastly Grinning

” …the performances are solid, the ride is a slow one. Minimal dialogue leads this drudgery until the last twenty minutes or so when most of the loose ends are tied up or explained. The ending is worth sticking around for and makes the final product feel like a cross between Dark Shadows and Twilight Zone.” The Hollywood Outsider

“Tully has an intriguing concept and a fantastic final scene, but he didn’t flesh out the movie between the credits. And so he has to rely on too many filmmaking tricks to try and keep it interesting—slow-motion, over-use of score, a dream within a dream twice.” RogerEbert.com

” …the film doesn’t only draw out primal terror from the fear of being a foreigner in unknown territory, but perhaps more impressively, excites with the possibility of seeing something the rest of the world can’t and the burden that comes with bringing it to light. Although Tully likely used vintage lenses to get the look of Don’t Leave Home just right, his vision is entirely original…” Moveable Fest

Release:

Don’t Leave Home was released theatrically and on VOD on September 14, 2018.

Filming locations:

Killadoon House, Killadoon, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland

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