There seems to be a tendency nowadays to, and it's been gradual, I think, there's a checklist that we have for children; where whenever there is a problem, there's a solution, and we have Oprah, and we have pills and we can sort of prescribe away the problem. I think it's still possible for a family to do everything right, and still have things go terribly wrong.
—Director and Writer Christopher Denham
Home Movie documents one family's descent into darkness through compilation of the Poe family's home-made video footage. In the remote woods of upstate New York, David and Clare Poe are attempting to live an idyllic life. However, the Poe children are hiding a dark secret and something is wrong with ten-year old twins, Jack and Emily Poe. To stop them, their parents must enter the nightmare of their children’s minds. As they try to regain control of the children’s lives, the pressing question becomes who will ultimately survive the battle.Definitely not to be confused with Home Movies.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
Callback: Emily pretends to be dead while Clare is dragging her through the forest in the wagon at the beginning, and in the end Clare is in the exact same position in the wagon as Emily is dragging her back to the house.
Chase Scene: Near the end the kids chase Clare through the woods.
Fairy Tale Motifs: The Story of the Dragon and the Paper Bag; it's about a two-headed dragon that disguises itself as a normal child, as apart of a plan to kill and eat all the children in the town it lives near.
Foreshadowing: David's story about the two-headed dragon wearing the paper bag over his head, and the scene where the children throw their dinnerware to the ground, is echoed in the final shot of the film—their struggling parents are restrained on the dining table, partially wrapped in garbage bags (in which the dead bugs and leaves were put in the beginning of the film) while the children sit clutching silverware and wearing paper bags over their heads. The ice cream truck mentioned earlier in the film makes an appearance near the end, as well.
HotParents: The actors for both parents look much better than any parents as harried as these ought to look.
I'm a Humanitarian: As shown by them eating raw meat, their penchant for biting, and some of their drawings, the kids apparently harbor cannibalistic fantasies. The ending also heavily implies the kids eat their parents, who they have strapped to the table, forks and knives at the ready.
Things That Go Bump in the Night: Clare had an eleven year-old patient who had hallucinations of "a man made of nails" hiding under his bed; after biting each other, the kids also claim "the man in the closet" was responsible.
Too Dumb to Live: The parents who even after Jack and Emily are found ready to kill a classmate don't take very strict precautions.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Watching an animal documentary showing wolves eating a carcass, throwing rocks at their dad's head, crucifying the family cat, killing their goldfish and making a sandwich from them, eating raw meat, violently attacking and biting each other and another child, sticking the family dog's head on a spike, very nearly attempted murder of aforementioned child, killing their parents...
Twisted Christmas: On Christmas morning, the twins kill and crucify the family cat on a decorative cross in the house.
The Unreveal: The film skips Jack's responses to the Rorschach ink blot test, though it's possible he didn't give any actual answers, hence the fast forwarding.