Don’t Leave Home
2018, 86 Minutes, DCP
Presented by: Michael Tully
Director: Michael Tully
Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen
Distributor: Good Deed Entertainment
Baltimore-born, Austin-based director Michael Tully’s gripping sixth feature Don’t Leave Home is his first foray into the thriller genre. The director of such MdFF favorites as music documentary Silver Jew (MdFF 2007), cult film Septien (MdFF 2011) and Ocean-City-in-the-80s set comedy Ping Pong Summer (MdFF 2014), Tully seems to have the rare directorial gift of being right at home working in any mode.
Artist Melanie Thomas (multi-MdFF alum Anna Margaret Hollyman) has latched onto a series of strange disappearances in the Irish countryside as inspiration for her latest series of sculptures. With a big gallery show for these works looming, she receives a bit of bad news that upends her forthcoming opening. As the gallery show falls apart, a phone call from a mysterious would-be patron in Ireland offers a chance for escape and a much needed bit of money. It may be more than a coincidence that Melanie will also be very near the site of those strange disappearances she is so fascinated by. Will her research bring her further inspiration or something much more sinister?
Both in its setting and its filmmaking chops, Don’t Leave Home calls to mind the likes of Robert Altman’s woefully underrated 1972 film Images, continually building on a slow-burn sense of dread as it works its way towards an eerie climax. Featuring fantastic performances from supporting cast Lalor Roddy and Helena Bereen (both from Steve McQueen’s 2008 film Hunger), Don’t Leave Home is a tightly constructed supernatural smolderer that mesmerizes with each frame. (Scott Braid)
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