January 26, 2016

DVD Review: HOME INVASION (2016)

Starring Natasha Henstridge, Jason Patric, Scott Adkins, Liam Dickinson, Michael Rogers. Directed by David Tennant. (2016, 88 min).

Remember generic food products that used to grace grocery store shelves in the 80s...you know, the ones with plain white packages and black labels which simply read 'Cola' or 'Green Beans'? No enticing photos, no clever slogans or descriptive adjectives, just a word or two to let you know what's inside. Generic products were never elegant cuisine, but reasonably priced and edible enough if you kept your expectations low.

Similarly, the title tells all in this direct-to-video thriller starring Natasha Henstridge, Jason Patric and a bunch of other actors I'd never heard of. The film is nearly as generic as its title (there's over a dozen other films called Home Invasion). Like popping open that plain-labeled can of cream corn to discover that (surprise!) it's full of cream corn, you probably already know most of the story.

Henstridge plays Chloe, a lonely housewife, estranged from her absentee husband and taking care of her bratty stepson (Jacob) in their suburban home protected by a state-of-the-art security system. But that doesn't stop three violent assailants from busting in and looking for a safe which contains something her husband apparently stole from them. The film becomes a cat & mouse game with Chloe and Jacob trapped inside, trying to stay hidden while a security operator (Patric, who literally phones-in his entire performance) provides their eyes and ears because he has access to the cameras throughout the house.

One way to get rid of a spider.

While there are a few moments of mild suspense, you've seen all of this before. The plot is generic, the characters are generic (why does every preteen kid-in-peril start off as a mouthy little bastard?), the action is generic (and bloodless). Heck, when you think about it, even Henstridge & Patric have always been kind-of generic. Sure, they can act and are suitably attractive, but have you ever actually seen them in anything where their performances knocked your socks off?

Ultimately, Home Invasion goes down like a bag of generic potato chips, which might fill the void if there's nothing else in the house, but you'll get no memorable enjoyment out of them. This isn't exactly a terrible film. It's decently acted, competently directed and passable entertainment on a dull evening when there's nothing else on TV, but you aren't likely to give it another thought once the end credits begin to roll.


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