It really made me laugh, but for some moments I was tearing up because I could relate so much.
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I had already noted a low rating for this movie on various sites but the subject matter appealed to me as a fan of Misery, Play Misty for Me, Misery et al so I gave it a go expecting nothing of any shock value and was not disappointed on that front. This film had elements of all three of the aforementioned films but had too few pearls stretched out on a decidedly threadbare string.Almost immediately the viewer becomes frustrated at the stupidity of Mike and his girlfriend Elizabeth as they take a trip back to his roots where his "intense" - as Mike describes her - ex-girlfriend, Shelby, runs a bowling alley. After meeting some of Mike's friends, Elizabeth decides she wants to follow them on with Mike to the Bowling alley in spite of being informed about the existence of Shelby. After Shelby plies Elizabeth with tequila whilst playing the amiable ex, Elizabeth, keen to make a good first impression on Mike's parents decides she is too drunk to meet with them that night so Mike's police officer brother drives Elizabeth to a remote hotel and Mike back to his folks. This is where the first major flaw of the plot is seen. Would you seriously drop your young girlfriend off in a hotel car park in a strange and remote area without seeing her safely inside and ensuring she has secured a room? Apparently not as she is left to wheel her case in and wave from the door as her chaperones speed off into the night before being told there are in fact no vacancies and the sign that says otherwise is broken. This leaves Elizabeth to walk four miles West in the dark to locate another hotel until she flags down a passing car which promptly knocks her into a ditch.When she awakens, Elizabeth finds herself in a strange bedroom attached to a drip and being "nursed" by Shelby who is intent on hiding the injured girlfriend away whilst she desperately tries to win back the affections of her ex, Mike. It quickly becomes evident that Shelby is a dangerous psychopath and one wonders why the smart Elizabeth didn't just play along with her games and manipulate Shelby by asserting that she wanted to break up with Mike. A girl of her calibre could have easily cooked up some fictitious and feasible story which would have placated Shelby and ensured Elizabeth's relative safety. This is a common flaw in movies of this ilk. The hostage making ill-planned escape attempts, showing the fear that only feeds the hostage-taker or to the contrary, antagonising their captors and sustaining more injuries for their efforts.The characters were hard to care about in any capacity which is so often the case where teenagers are involved. Predicable diatribe in my opinion, lacking every ounce of substance that Misery brought to the screen.
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We've seen it all before nicely sums up "Homecoming." Plot, characters, twists and turns (Such as they are) are all strictly out of the stock Hollywood thriller handbook.The stock plot revolves around small town football star Michael (Matt Long) coming home to see his High School jersey retired with new girlfriend Elizabeth (A very cute Jessica Stroup) in tow ostensibly so she can get to know his old friends and meet his parents. Unfortunately for Mike and especially unfortunate for Elizabeth, Mike's old flame from his high school days, Shelby (Mischa Barton) is still in town and still believes he carries a torch for her as she so obviously does for him. When she discovers her old love has a new lover and is no longer interested in her she's devastated.Shortly Elizabeth falls into Shelby's clutches and becomes her prisoner as Shelby hatches a plot to make her rival miserable while trying to win back her old boyfriend.Virtually every cliché in the "desperate to escape" victim playbook is used and most are presented only half-heartedly at best. Eventually all the players come together for the clichéd ending and anyone who's surprised by how it all plays out has never seen a modern Hollywood thriller or has an IQ lower than Forrest Gump himself.There are plot holes galore and the story requires otherwise intelligent characters to act stupid or at least do stupid things no one in such real life situations ever would. Elizabeth is presented with several obvious methods of escape or at least chances to alert other people to her predicament but passes up the most fundamental means at her disposal simply so the writers can extent her pain and suffering and make the movie last the requisite hour and half viewing time. (One obvious case is when a loan officer comes to visit Shelby at her house and when he leaves a supposedly desperate Elizabeth can only meekly tap at the window to try and gain his attention when she has over a dozen devices around her in the room she could easily use to smash the glass and alert him to her presence.) Certain plot points never add up and simply become distractions as the movie plods along. Although Elizabeth is supposed to be the love of Mike's life he and his policeman cousin Billy (Michael Landes) accept Elizabeth's disappearance fairly casually. At first Mike acts extremely upset at her apparent last minute ditching of him on the eve of her finally meeting his parents, yet never goes beyond a few vain attempts to call her for an explanation. Mike's parents never seem to upset at possibly never meeting the woman that might be their future daughter in-law and no one else in town ever seems to ask Mike about his girlfriend's absence.Elizabeth discovers evidence Shelby poisoned her mother yet Shelby's motives for doing so are never explained. She seems to have only inherited a tremendous amount of debt from her mother's death as both the business and house she left behind are near foreclosure. At one point while trying to affect an escape, Elizabeth smashes Shelby in the face with a porcelain toilet tank lid only to have Shelby quickly cover up the damage in the next scene with a light touch of make up. No one even asks her about her head injury throughout the rest of the movie! And why a character so obviously demented as Shelby went unnoticed all her life in such a closed, rural small town, especially by her long time boyfriend, is beyond explanation.The biggest plot hole of all is why Shelby keeps her rival alive at all especially when her homicidal tendencies become evident half-way through the film.I could go on but you get the idea.Mischa Barton, for all her off screen real life escapades, is turning in to a very competent actress. She's really the only reason to sit through this thing to the bitter, hackneyed end. She's obviously about 4 points better looking than anyone else in the film and another plot hole is why anyone so attractive would have such a hard time finding a decent replacement for an old high school boyfriend in the first place.If you really want to see a good, tightly scripted thriller about an innocent victim held prisoner by a psychopath rent the much better "Misery." You'll get Kathy Bates instead of the fetching Mischa Barton but you won't regret the time you spent watching it either.
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Shelby didn't accept a break up with high school football star Mike who has since moved on to college at Northwestern and attached himself to another, Elizabeth. She can not and will not believe Mike is no longer the man for her, and in pure FATAL ATTRACTION/PLAY MISTY FOR ME style, goes off the deep end. Shelby will set out to wreck Mike's relationship with Elizabeth whatever the cost. Mischa Barton has this moment where she quietly fumes and dwells on Mike's truly leaving her in the dust...dragging off a cigarette, the contemplation of losing him yet again is present on her face(it's a good scene I give Barton credit for). Driving home while sobbing, Shelby hits Liz with her vehicle as she was walking the side of the road seeking help from someone because she needed a ride to Mike's mom's house..Shelby got Liz liquored up so she couldn't meet Mike's mom. Echoes of MISERY as Shelby has Liz in a bed where her sick mother once spent her last years dying, feeding her intravenous tube with a sleeping agent to keep her either sedated or so weakened she can not move(not to mention Liz' ankle is badly damaged)..and when she attempts to due so is often thwarted by her injury.Letting go is hard to do in Shelby's case and this is like an opportunity which landed right in her lap. Pretty much holding her hostage, mangled ankle and all, Shelby can use this as an advantage to, in her devious state, "win" back the man she adores(more like obsesses about). There's this amusing scene where Liz finds a room which serves as a literal shrine to Mike, with pictures all over the walls, doodles, and heartfelt scribblings devoted to the man she yearns for. HOMECOMING is one of those movies which allows another actress her chance to play the psychotic, cold-hearted bitch role. There are all these Lifetime Movie clichés to stomach, thriller staples that have wore out their welcome. Such as the evidence, taped underneath the toilet bowl lid no less, where it proves that Shelby poisoned her mother. The revelation that Liz has been kidnapped, discovered by Mike in the knick of time. The numerous near escapes where Liz just about frees herself from Shelby's clutches. The victim who finds Liz bound only to be executed for turning his back on Shelby. How Shelby takes a licking and keeps on ticking, in ridiculous fashion..she takes a shot to the forehead by a ceramic toilet bowl lid, her head slammed up against a wall, and a variety of punches to the face with a football helmet. And, if you really think about it, the idea that this beautiful young woman who seems to have a degree of intelligence, would have this homicidal love for a boy, even if he's the town's famous football legend, is a bit over the top and hard to swallow. He's this sensitive dreamboat who just has a hard time accepting that Liz would leave him without even confronting him, though Shelby tries her hardest to get him to think so. And, Shelby flaunts in Liz' face how she'll get Mike back while her prisoner must suffer..all of this I've described will be quite familiar to those who watch these movies. It's really a sister to movies like SWIMFAN about female lunatics who do not respond well when their love is spurned by the young man they worship.Barton fulfills the requirements of such a role and Stroup is a nice young actress with a pleasant personality, whose Elizabeth doesn't deserve what is happening to her. It all has been done before folks, nothing new to see here. Michael Landes is Mike's cop pal, Billy Fletcher who is used as a tool in the screenplay to potentially talk him into reentering a relationship with Shelby. I do think, as evident by this movie, that Stroup is a star in the making. Matt Long is the young man Barton loves with all her heart. Funniest scene could be when Shelby starts eating a meat sandwich, possibly cut from the body of a victim she had just killed!
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I will start with the plot. Mike was the star quarterback in a blue-collar small town where football is everything. After receiving a scholarship to Northwestern University, he returns home over Christmas break and everyone is surprised to see him with a new girlfriend, Elizabeth, a pretty rich girl from Chicago. No one is more shocked than Mike's homecoming queen ex-girlfriend, Shelby, who desperately wants Elizabeth out of the picture. After a freak car accident leaves an injured Elizabeth at the mercy of Shelby, all hell breaks loose as Shelby does everything it takes to get Mike back.A Nice build to the main characters, As we get to know characters and you will care for the characters (Well I did) After the good build up to the characters then the movie really gets going and I was total hooked.I was actually shouting at the movie, I don't remember the last time I shouted at A movie, thats how much I really enjoyed watching this movie.This movie has some really good scenes and one nasty scene, (some will think it a total ripoff Misery). This scene made me look away.The acting was great from Main 3, but office Billy Fletcher (You may know as officer Burke from Final Destination 2) his acting was not that good (and is character was pain in the a*s) also the ending, they tried to go for a shocking ending but it didn't work and it just fell flat.Also Shelby is one hell of an Evil Bitch (Mischa Barton she did outstanding job on this movie). She was great.This movie will be compared to Mirsey as this could easily be passed as a sequel or even a remake of it.6/10