Homebound is a 2021 mystery horror film about a countryside trip that turns out to be far from idyllic for a father and his new fiancée.
Written and directed by Sebastian Godwin making his feature directorial debut. Produced by Hugo Godwin and Emma Parsons.
The British production stars Aisling Loftus (The Midwich Cuckoos TV series; Gun Shy; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Tom Goodman-Hill (Rebecca; Inside No. 9 TV series; The Rizen; 7 Lives; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Hattie Gotobed, Raffiella Chapman and Lukas Rolfe.
Holly (Aisling Loftus) is excited to finally meet fiancé Richard’s (Tom Goodman-Hill) three children for the first time at a birthday celebration for his youngest.
Taking place at his ex-wife’s secluded home in the English countryside, Holly is nervous at the proposition of being a stepmom and eager to make a good impression on the children and his ex. However, when they arrive, circumstances are far from ideal…
“Homebound starts a little shakily but soon hits its stride […] Sebastian Godwin’s debut feature works so well due to the mystery which encircles seemingly ordinary events. This wrongness only grows as it becomes increasingly clear that something is distinctly not right.” Backseat Mafia
“Godwin attempts to distract through compelling character and tension-fueled mysteries. It’s anemic on narrative depth, but it’s engaging nonetheless. Through its mood-driven atmosphere, performances, and scant runtime, Homebound never overstays its welcome.” 3/5 Bloody Disgusting
“I’m sure that the bizarre behaviour is there to put you on edge and unsettle you while the ominous horror movie soundtrack tries to add tension, but instead, the breezy 71-minute running time just ended up becoming a real chore to sit through, resulting in a disappointing conclusion.” 2/5 Cine Chat
” …the establishment of the uneasy tone is so effective that the events within and without the house borders on the surreal. So while the end result lacks the gut-punch of tension it is going for—the final moments are elusive in terms of what it does and does not reveal, to the detriment of the climax—the slow-burn drama in the interim is engaging.” CineFiles
“Homebound is helped no end by a script that avoids cliché even if the scenario is familiar and an authentically jarring soundtrack from Jeremy Warmsley. It may be a little slight, but it certainly has its moments. And the atmospherically distressed Wiveton Hall in Norfolk is a great setting…” Dark Eyes of London
“Though it could have used a more fully developed story, it sets a queasy mood, as seeing things through Holly’s eyes. It held my attention as a slow-burn suspense tale and creepy family drama about dealing with the ordinary things in life in an ordinary way.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews
“Homebound is an effective, confined familial thriller that isn’t fully formed. The brisk running time puts Godwin’s film in limbo between an extended short and a fully fleshed-out feature. The decision to focus on the shocked expression on Holly’s face instead of the actual horror leaves too much to the imagination.” 3/5 Dread Central
“Homebound has a good story in there somewhere. With shades of Psycho and aiming for the same kind of unnerving storytelling that made Mother an addictive watch, the film is certainly interesting but Godwin’s decision to abandon logic hampers things. It’s hard to get on board with a film where the main characters behave completely opposite to how they would in reality…” 2/5 Entertainment Focus
“With a rather abrupt ending, the film leaves a good deal open to question. It seems to depart from formula almost accidentally, perhaps due to a failure to understand where the strongest emotional beats lay until the editing stage, but it’s more interesting as a result. Genre tropes don’t pattern out the way you might expect.” Eye for Film
“The strength of this movie is in watching it and slowly realizing what is actually going on. Essentially, you’re in the shoes of Holly (Aisling Loftus) who has no idea what’s going on either. You’ll want to watch this little slice of crazy whenever you can. Definitely not one to miss out on.” Heaven of Horror
“The best scene comes in the final act, when Holly finally uncovers the family secrets. Masterfully executed (and without showing a shred of anything on-screen beyond character reactions), this scene reminded me that indie horror filmmaking remains host to a variety of stylistic flourishes one would be hard-pressed to discover in more mainstream fare.” Josh at the Movies
“It’s nicely acted by the Turn of the Screw/Innocents-type kids, with Gotobed and Rolfe in the Miles role and Chapman playing Flora (though another Jack Clayton film, Our Mother’s House, also comes to mind). The tradition of posh country folk being sinister rather than comical is carried on, though this is in the end much more an exercise in unease than shock.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“At first, director Sebastian Godwin appears to have big plans for the weekend but after a shifty first half, you start to wonder when the threat of danger will lead to something of substance. I appreciate the subtle approach but there’s restraint and then there’s ‘in need of resuscitation’ and that’s unfortunately where Homebound finds itself by the end.” The MN Movie Man
“Arguably there are better movies that use this kind of atmospheric familial dread – Ready or Not shares some similarities, and most recently The Lodge, which was criminally under-viewed in my opinion; but there is a place for this British ‘wife/stepmum lost in new-family peril’ subgenre horror film. A little undercooked but still satisfying…” *** The Movie Waffler
“The trio of Raffaella Chapman, Hattie Gotobed, and Lukas Rolfe wonderfully sell the creepiness of what’s happening alongside the unsettling tone emphasized by discordant notes. There may be few surprises regarding the trajectory, yet that doesn’t stop the effectiveness when those moments arrive.” 4/5 The Reviewing Rodders
” …the journey is worth taking, with plenty of uncomfortable moments and a sense of menace that holds strong throughout. A stripped-back, disturbing and intimate portrait of a family in flux that handles its material with a disquieting playfulness – I can’t remember the last time I saw something that presented such a strange vibe so well.” 3.5/5 Scared Sheepless
“Homebound is by no means an easy watch, putting each character in harm’s way, but it is a thrilling one. Godwin sets an eerie, dread-filled town early on and constantly builds on it as the mystery as to what is going on in and around the children’s home increases. This film is a top-notch work of independent horror fare.” The Scariest Things
“The mood of the film is finely-pitched, with plenty of nuances that build up an unspoken malevolence that explodes to an understated but nevertheless disturbing climax. The younger actors […] are impressive and add to the creepy atmosphere. This along with the location give Homebound the feel of the independent horror features from the seventies such as Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly.” 4/5 Starburst
Homebound premiered at Fantastic Fest in the USA on September 25th 2021 and was also shown at Beyond Fest on October 7th 2021.
In the UK, Blue Finch Films will release Homebound in cinemas on 1 April and on Digital 4 April 2022.
Cast and characters:
Aisling Loftus … Holly
Tom Goodman-Hill … Richard
Hattie Gotobed … Lucia
Raffiella Chapman … Anna
Lukas Rolfe … Ralph
Wiveton Hall, Coast Road, Holt, Norfolk
1 hour 15 minutes