Director: Anthony Burns
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Katherine Heigl, Jordana Brewster
Release Date: Own it on Blu-Ray & DVD April 7th
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Don Champagne seems to have it all: a successful business, a perfect house, perfect kids and a perfect wife. Unfortunately, when his wife, Mona (Katherine Heigl), learns of Don’s affair with a pretty new salesgirl (Jordana Brewster), this suburban slice of heaven spirals out of control. Don soon realizes that Mona will stop at nothing, including murder, to maintain their storybook life where “perception is everything”.
At first glance Don Champagne (Wilson) may appear to have the perfect life, from his beautiful family and home to the well known furniture store which he runs; yet as we all know, things are rarely as they appear at first glance. Behind the scenes Don struggles daily with his nitpicking and superficial wife Mona (Heigl) who finds nothing more important than appearances and reaching her set of goals (which she’s generously included Don in, making them “our goals”) no matter the cost. Therefore when things get bad and Don begins having an affair with his new employee Dusty (Brewster) which leads to a pregnancy, there is no step too drastic for Mona when it comes to preserving their goals and the family’s appearance.
Anthony Burns (Skateland) directed ‘Home Sweet Hell’ which marks his sophomore directorial outing and he does a more than capable job at the helm, delivering a rich and bright world which he couldn’t have captured more perfectly in accordance with the movie’s tone. The film is also complimented significantly by the collection of talented individuals who make up the cast, including Patrick Wilson, Katherine Heigl, Jordana Brewster and Jim Belushi among others, all of whom deliver solid and often spot on performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Home Sweet Hell’ is a quite dark and twisted, yet simultaneously hilarious film which delivers a good time from start to end. It takes a wonderfully over exaggerated, bright and happy suburban world and explores what goes on behind the scenes. It perfectly embellishes the insanity that we all imagine could be going through some of these folks’ heads, caring about nothing more so than appearances and their social status, plus the surprising lengths to which they would be willing to go in order to protect what they consider such crucial things. I would highly recommend ‘Home Sweet Hell’, especially to those who are fans of sick and twisted (plus often bloody) humor, although that’s not to say others won’t enjoy it as well. It’s an overall fun time that’s definitely well worth checking out.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Home Sweet Hell’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole. The rich, vivid colors so frequently utilized in the film look remarkable, the scenery in this almost neon suburban neighborhood is detailed and distinguished with every bright and colorful bit of this world from the front yard to the interior of the store looking spot on and marvelous throughout. Overall, this is a very impressive high definition video presentation that should not disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds pretty great as a whole. The surround channels are utilized fairly frequently, mostly with the wonderfully fitting score regularly surrounding the viewer, but also taking advantage of numerous natural or everyday elements such as rain, thunder and even garage doors to utilize all of the available channels, while never causing any of the dialogue occurring simultaneously to become distorted or negatively affected in any way. Overall this is a more than capable and very decent 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should have most folks pretty satisfied.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Home Sweet Hell’ includes a few fun and worthwhile bonus goodies. Included on the Blu-Ray release is ‘Suburban Hell: The Making of Home Sweet Hell’ which runs approximately 10 minutes in length and features Behind the Scenes footage and interviews/comments from the cast. Also included are 9 Deleted Scenes (running approximately 18 minutes in total), Outtakes (6 minutes) and a ‘Champagne Furniture and Rugs Commercial’ (43 seconds). Also, it should be noted that 7 of the 9 Deleted Scenes and the Commercial are Blu-Ray exclusives.