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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.10.21] New Zealand horror thriller

Perhaps the most surprising thing of Coming Home in the Dark is seeing Daniel Gillies with a Kiwi accent and appearing to pull it off. Not as surprising is that he appears to be playing a bad guy with some nuance; something the actor has done very effectively for much of his career.

James Ashcroft's feature film debut, which he co-wrote with Eli Kent, stars Erik Thomson and Miriama McDowell as Hoagie and Jill respectively. The couple is on an idyllic outing at an isolated coastline with their sons when they are taken hostage by a pair of drifters, Mandrake and Tubs (played by Gillies and Matthias Luafutu).

While at first Hoagie and Jill assume the encounter was random, it soon becomes clear that Mandrake and Hoagie have history and the encounter was not accidental.

I fully admit to having watched "The Originals" for as long as I did because of Gillies; he's a compelling actor who always seems to be working harder than everyone else around him and it comes through in the performances. With Coming Home in the Dark, it appears that he's finally found a movie that showcases his talent.

Coming Home in the Dark premiered earlier this year at Sundance, and will be available in select theatres and on VOD on October 1.

Recommended Release: Backcountry

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