A house in the middle of the forest. An unfriendly landscape. A lonely girl. All the classic ingredients of a horror. However, “Home” is not a cliché horror short film, despite its premises and the supernatural-gore elements that break the silence of the protagonist. Lindsei Barros is aware of the expectations she creates for her viewers, but even if she doesn’t totally deceive them, she provides an intriguing and shocking experiment that, coincidentally or not, seems to be inspired by the recent experience of the general lockdown. In other words, this project depicts the terrifying experience of a young woman who notices that she is a prisoner in a house whose exits are a sort of portals that lead her inside the same building. The space becomes a kind of infinite loop that encloses the entire universe of the young woman in the limited perimeter of this domestic prison.


Supernatural force or a schizoid perception of the world? The question remains unanswered, since the director’s intention maintains this uncertainty, without exploring in a concrete way the intentions and thoughts of the protagonist. In addition, the dialogue is completely missing, while the main character (who is, in fact, the only character of the film) is rather a prototype, a general typology that embodies the traumatic experiences of famous female victims of almost all visceral scenarios from the cinema world. The viewers don’t know the personal story of the protagonist and they don’t need to; that’s because it is not the drama of a young woman that interests us, but how the director manages to manipulate the conventional formula of suspense that gives us shivers.


Thus, the short film has the appearance of an essay about the mechanisms of terror, using the tools specific to the horror genre in a minimalist narrative context. The suspense reminiscent of Carpenter or Dario Argento style, the acoustic shrieks that are doubled by the dizzying movements of the camera, the macabre details tackling themes such as the haunted house, the evil doppelganger or the nightmares that repeat the bloody scenario of a single day indefinitely, combine in a project both intense and “cold” that distantly analyses the cinematic equation of any horror film. Basically, Lindsei Barros manages the performance of using a suite of recognizable elements, which may no longer impress the demanding fans of the genre, to create a fresh, surprisingly impactful and not at all predictable effect. “Home” is an excellent short film that demonstrates, with a minimum of resources, the validity and freshness of pre-established patterns, as long as all these elements are passed through the filter of an intelligent directorial vision.