Friday, July 9, 2021

Safer at Home (2021)

Streaming Services: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Safer at Home (2021)
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Length: 82 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: 7930 Entertainment, Showdown Productions, Voltage Pictures, Vertical Entertainment, The Searchers, Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Director: Will Wernick
Writer: Will Wernick, Lia Bozonelis, John Ierardi
Actors: Alisa Allapach, Lia Bozonelis, Adwin Brown, Katie L. Hall, Jocelyn Hudon, Mark Irvingsen, Dan J. Johnson, Michael Kupisk, Emma Lahana, Brandon Morales, Daniel Robaire
Blurb from IMDb: Two years into the pandemic, a group of friends throw a wild online party. After taking ecstasy, things go terribly wrong and the safety of their homes becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside.

Selina’s Point of View:
Safer at Home was not an easy watch. There was absolutely no escapism involved. Instead, it gave a look at a possible future based on what is actually happening.
Safer at Home opened with a montage of real news footage. It then seamlessly shifted into fictional news from that possible future – one where COVID-19 mutates and keeps us in a full quarantine until well into 2022. It also pulled from the BLM movement to show how that kind of police state lock-down would look.
Horror flicks are always much more terrifying when they could really happen.
I am not surprised by this movie’s reception. Critics got their hands on it in early 2021. Vaccines for COVID-19 had been developed and were rolling out at a steady pace in many countries. It was looking like the pandemic was coming to a close.
And we were all sick of hear about the coronavirus. None of us wanted to sit down in our free time, when we could finally be out among friends, and watch a movie about what we endured.
I don’t think any critic could possibly have imagined that this little horror was predicting the delta variant.

Watching Safer at Home now, is not the same thing as seeing it then. It hits harder.
It’s not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination. 

A huge portion of the cast had nothing to do but stare at a screen for the majority of their part. It was also an extreme social commentary, which is not for everyone. Especially not for anyone who is looking to escape current events for a little while.
It was also difficult to not compare it to Host (2020) – which was the first film to take place during the pandemic through use of webcams. They’re very different movies, of course. One is supernatural, the other is based completely in realism. Still, when you compare them – Safer at Home does not hold a candle to Host. Not only that, but even though Host is set during the pandemic, it still offers some manner of removal from our situation.
Safer at Home is less a project of entertainment and more like a creative warning of what we should be trying to avoid. That’s not what a lot of people are going to be looking for right now.
That said, I do predict that people are going to have a very different take on this film when they watch it in the future. Once COVID-19 is over and we’ve stepped into the light of whatever the world looks like then, people are going to be more open to movies set in this time. When they start coming across this one, it going to get better reviews. I don’t think I can say it will be a cult film, but I do believe it has the potential to become bigger than it currently is.

Cat’s Point of View:
When you watch movies on a regular basis, you never know when one is going to reach out and rattle you. I certainly didn’t anticipate feeling shook in the wake of the credits for Safer at Home…and yet here we are.
The critics are tearing into this movie and ripping it to shreds as if someone chummed shark-infested waters. I don’t get all the hate. Sure, Safer at Home wasn’t the most amazing thing ever, but it was solid. It just goes to show that you can’t always go by what all the critics say.
There have been a few films so far that have embraced this new pandemic world and run with the concept to bring us a whole new genre of horror and thrills. This follows along those lines but doesn’t dip into the supernatural the way others have.
The opening of Safer At Home actually gave me chills.

I absolutely believed in the setup here. It felt like current events rather than a piece of fiction. With variant strains of the coronavirus popping up, it feels like this will never end sometimes. I want to avoid a political soapbox, though, so I’ll summarize by saying that the police-state big brother-esque Los Angeles that was shown in the film felt frighteningly plausible.
You can do a lot with a simple framework. So many of us have experienced the little Zoom meeting boxes in the last year or so, that it only seems natural that more productions are going to borrow from this shared experience. I think this treatment was successful. I felt like I was sitting in on someone’s Zoom feed and watching a get-together of real friends. The drama was believable. I didn’t care if some parts were predictable or not. Safer at Home had a solid cast and they did a great job.
The ending rattled me hard.
Screw the critics, Safer at Home is absolutely worth the watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 7%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%
Metascore – 35/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.6/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5
Movie Trailer: