Macabre…ish Horror Review: Coming Home in the Dark




Coming Home in the Dark, 2021/ 1 hr 33 min


The Hoaganraad Family (Alan-Dad (Erik Thomson), Jill-Mom (Miriama McDowell), Jordan (Frankie Paratene) and Malika (Billy Paratene), on a road trip are followed by two men, Mandrake (Daniel Gillies) and Tubs (Matthias Luafutu). When the family has their picnic, these two unwelcome guests make themselves right at home, whether the family likes it or not. They are in a remote location and these two drifters are armed.


Mandrake and Tubs help themselves to the family’s food and valuables, making sure to terrify them as much as possible. And just at they’re hopeful these guys are gonna leave them alone, they settle in, instead. So much so that when another vehicle comes around, the family is made to act like nothing is wrong.


As soon as the van leaves, Mandrake changes all their lives. And after dark, he announces they are all going home. To the Hoaganraad’s home. And orders everyone into the family’s vehicle.


It’s a long drive and Mandrake use’s it for a little psychological torture, all while extracted valuable information from Alan. And the implication is clear and terrible.


A pit stop at a fuel station is their best chance, so far, for help and/or escape and it is harrowing. The Hoaganraads try everything just for a man to end up dead and for not much else to really change. Until they are ordered out of the car later on down the road and Alan confesses what he knows in an attempt to save what’s left of his family.


His confessions are horrible to hear. He claims he was just a witness and not a participant but Mandrake barely cares. He’s gonna see this through to the end, whatever it is has shaped him into the monster he has become.


This New Zealand psychological horror is very like The Hitcher. Both in feel, shock value and suspense. It is also just as relentless. The pace and cinematography is good and the stunning back drop to the devastating story makes it that much harder to watch. It is also graphic, not gory but also audibly graphic. Every thud and squelch made me cringe. Good movie