Cinepocalypse 2019: Izzy Lee’s ‘Re-Home’ – Short Film Review

I’ve been a longtime fan of the work of the incredible Izzy Lee (read our interview with her here). She is one director I can count on to consistently blow me away. From her early days making films like Picket (2014), to the unforgettable Innsmouth (2015) with Tristan Risk, to the gloriously stunning Rites of Vengeance (2017 – read our review here), she is a prolific filmmaking machine that never fails to drop jaws. Another thing I’ve always admired about Izzy is her fierceness and raw honesty. She’s never afraid to call it like it is. Izzy is never one to pull punches, and she refuses to shy away from tough and culturally relevant subjects. Rites of Vengeance, for instance, was a satisfyingly scathing assault on religion, particularly molestation and the coverups within the church.

So when offered the chance to review her newest short, Re-Home (2019), as part of this year’s Cinepocalypse lineup, it was a no-brainer for me. With Re-Home, Izzy is tackling immigration and the challenges facing those crossing the border, especially with our current administration and their border wall plans.

Beautiful poster art for Re-home, designed by the talented Bryan McKay
Beautiful poster art for Re-Home by the talented Bryan McKay

Official Synopsis:

In the near future, the U.S.-Mexico border wall has been completed, and the high cost of living has skyrocketed. As a result, loved ones are re-homed like pets.

Re-Home envisions an all too possible chilling future world of poverty, sparked by the already in place border wall. With only limited resources and her husband struggling to find work, distressed mother, Maria (played deftly by Luchagore Production’s own Gigi Saul Gurrero – read our Women in Horror Month 2019 interview with her here), is worried that they won’t be able to provide for their baby girl, Rosa. Terrified and desperate, Maria has turned to Future Horizon, a home offering temporary food and shelter for children while their parents try to get financially back on their feet. But, Future Horizon might not be the sweet and innocent safe haven it’s claiming to be.

Concerned mother Maria bringing her baby Rosa to Future Horizon
Concerned mother Maria, bringing her baby girl, Rosa, to Future Horizon

No surprise here; Izzy Lee has knocked another one completely out of the park. The cinematography, handled by the supremely talented Sophia Cacciola (read our interview with her here and our review for her latest film, Clickbait, here), is positively breathtaking. The performances are all magnificent. You might be more familiar with Gigi Saul Guerrero’s work behind the camera as a director, but this is a prime reminder of how stellar she is in front of it as well. Morgan Peter Brown (XX 2017 – read our review here, All the Creatures Were Stirring 2018 – read our review here) and Kasey Lansdale (who appeared in another of Izzy’s fantastic shorts, Postpartum) round out the cast as Matt and Laura, the couple who runs Future Horizon, and they are excellent as well.

The look, the feel, and the effectively creepy score, turned in by Shayne Gryn, all adds up to one magnificently powerful short. At just a shade under 9 minutes, Re-home packs plenty of gut-punch without overstaying its welcome.

If it seems too good to be true, it just might be
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

Final Thoughts:

Re-Home just recently had its world premiere at the 2019 Portland Horror Film Fest, making Cinepocalypse its second festival screening. It’s also cool that the Cinepocalypse crowd will get a back-to-back double dose of Gigi, as Re-Home will be the warmup before her directorial feature film debut, Culture Shock. All I can say is that the crowd who gets to see this film is in for a massive treat! Izzy continues to dazzle and impress with every new project, and Re-Home is absolutely no exception. She is as talented and prolific as any filmmaker out there, having crafted around 15 short films within the last 6 years, with 2 already wrapped in 2019.

I can say, without hesitation, that Re-Home easily ranks among her very best. Timely, impactful, and impeccably created by an uber-talented team, this is one not to be missed! Be sure to catch this exceptional short whenever you can. Don’t make Izzy come after you, or you better make a run for the border!

About Matthew Solomon

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