Plot: What’s it about?
Home Sweet Hell marks one of three dark comedies I’ve seen recently that involve characters disposing of dead bodies. Not only that, but it’s the second one starring Patrick Wilson. The other is Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife. While I found both films enjoyable overall, one should know that they are quite dark at times. Much of the dark stuff is played for laughs, but one’s tolerance will depend on how much you’re willing to go with. Patrick Wilson plays Don Champagne. He owns a furniture store and seems to have a great life with his wife Mona (Katherine Heigl). The trouble begins, however, when Don begins to have an affair with the new salesperson Dusty (Jordana Brewster). That would be only the first of their problems since Dusty soon confesses that she is pregnant. Don confides in one of his employees Les (Jim Belushi) who suggests that Don pay her off to keep her quiet. It’s not long before Don confesses to his wife about the affair, and she has suggestions of her own as well. I’ll avoid further plot specifics to avoid spoilers, but things get quite dark and twisted after a certain point.
I’m generally not a big fan of dark comedies, but Hell definitely held my interest. By no means is it a perfect film, and the ending isn’t entirely satisfying, but more than enough of it works. Heigl handles her role perfectly and Wilson is solid as the leading man who gets stuck in an unfortunate position. One of the film’s pros is that it avoids being predictable. I wasn’t sure what route it would take next. Things move at a steady pace as well. As mentioned, things do get quite dark as the body count rises, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment. There were also some funny asides such as Mona’s obsessive compulsive behavior even as she’s disposing of a body and covered in blood. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re willing to go with the premise then you just might enjoy it.
Video: How’s it look?
The film looks quite nice. It takes place in a very colorful, sunny setting and the transfer displays things nicely. Details are nice and strong and colors are deep and bold. Facial details are solid as well. When the killings begin to take place, the blood splatter kicks in it’s also displayed realistically. The image is AVC encoded with a 2.35:1 ratio. Fans will be satisfied.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is fine, but don’t expect anything too robust. Vocals are still fine and clear, but there’s not much in the way of background noise. That isn’t so much a flaw since the film doesn’t require a lot of use from the rear channels. While nothing to write home about, the track still serves the film as it should. There are a couple of scenes in nightclubs that do liven things up a bit, but overall, this is a dialogue driven film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Deleted Scenes – We get a good chunk of cut footage here. Nothing is essential, but they’re fun to see.
- Champagne Furniture and Rugs Commercial – This is just a fake promo for the furniture store that Don owns in the film. It’s short, but worth watching once.
- Suburban Butchery: Making Home Sweet Hell – This runs for little over 10 minutes and features the usual cast and crew interviews. It’s decent to watch one time.
The Bottom Line
It won’t be for everyone, but Home Sweet Hell has a lot going for it, and is unpredictable. The cast does a great job and the story kept me involved. Fans of dark comedies should give it a try.