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Film / Home Sweet Home

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The Bradleys won’t be leaving home… ever.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place to HIDE!

Home Sweet Home (also known as Slasher in the House) is 1981 Slasher Movie, as you can probably tell from the alternate title.

In 1973, eighteen-year-old drug addict Jay Jones beat both his parents to death but was deemed insane and stuck in a Los Angeles asylum. Eight years later, on Thanksgiving Day weekend, Jay escapes and goes on a PCP-fueled rampage, eventually ending up at the secluded ranch house of Harold Bradley, whose friends and family have gathered together to celebrate the holiday. Suffice to say, Jay is going to make the revelers a little less thankful...

As far as eighties slashers go, Home Sweet Home is exceedingly generic, but it does have two noteworthy things going for it. One, it was the first (and is still one of the few) horror films set around Thanksgiving; and two, it happened to star famous Hollywood fitness guru "Bodies by" Jake Steinfeld, who gives a deliciously hammy performance as the completely batshit Jay.

Not related to the 2017 Thai horror game Home Sweet Home. Or the Hong Kong horror film from two decades later, Home Sweet Home (2005). Or the song by Mötley Crüe.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Jay Jones.
  • Auto Erotica: Scott and Jennifer try and get it on in Scott's car (in broad daylight... in the driveway) but are interrupted by Mistake.
  • Batter Up!: After Mistake walks in on her and Harold, a pissed-off Linda chases him with a baseball bat.
  • Blood from the Mouth: By the end, Jay is bleeding profusely from the mouth.
  • Broken Heel: Linda trips while running from Jay.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: The officers decide to hang around the area, guessing Linda and Gail will get pretty loose after drinking the wine they bought at the store.
  • Camera Abuse: When Jay strangles the guy who offers him a drink, the can get thrown at the camera, covering it in beer.
  • Car Fu: Jay runs down an old lady crossing the street with his recently hijacked station wagon.
  • Cat Scare: A noise is heard, the turkey is found knocked over, and Angel's unmoving legs are sticking out from under the table. Turns out she just snuck some turkey.
  • The Cavalry: Officers Jim and Tom (who had only one previous scene, in which they seemed less than reliable) show up at the last minute to pump Jay full of lead before he can kill Jennifer.
  • Cool Car: Scott's car, at least compared to the rest of the vehicles featured in the film.
  • Cool Shades: Worn by the first onscreen victim.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: While not that bloody, the deaths are very violent.
  • Dangerous Windows: Jay attacks Scott by crashing through a window, which he then proceeds to drag Scott through.
  • Determinator: Jay keeps going, even after getting a carving knife slammed into his back (he's reduced to stumbling a lot, though). The knife also remains stuck in him for the rest of the film.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: After the film opens with Jay, he doesn't show up for the next half-hour of the film. Instead, we watch the soon-to-be victims celebrating Thanksgiving.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The Bradley ranch is in the middle of nowhere.
  • Dull Surprise: Scott's initial reaction to finding Maria's corpse is to calmly ask "What is going on here?"
  • The '80s
  • Eyes Open: Featured in the ending, after Jay gets shot down by the police.
  • Fainting: While hiding from Jay, Jennifer faints.
  • Final Girl: Jennifer is the sole survivor.
  • Freudian Excuse: One of Jay's two lines of dialogue indicates his parents (or at least his mother) were abusive.
  • The Gambling Addict: Wayne, who becomes absolutely livid when the power goes out and he can't watch the big game.
  • Goomba Stomp: While Harold is busy trying to steal the battery out of his parked car, Jay jumps on the hood, slamming it down on his skull.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: For a hit-and-run, oddly. Jay is shown heading towards the old lady, there's an intense zoom-in on her screaming face... then we're shown Jay laughing with blood all over the front of the car.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Jay stabs Linda to death with a broken wine bottle.
  • High-Voltage Death: Jay hooks Mistake's backpack amp into an electric box, simultaneously frying Mistake and his guitar.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. The film is ridiculously dark in places.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The plot takes place on Thanksgiving Day.
  • The Hyena: Jay's main "dialogue" is a constant stream of maniacal laughter.
  • Hysterical Woman: Jennifer, by the end.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Linda and Gail talk their way out of getting a speeding ticket by showing some cleavage.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Harold's reaction to Mistake's antics.
    Harold: "I need a BEEEEER!"
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Jay has seemingly no interest in Angel, the little girl.
  • Incoming Ham:
    First Victim: "Hey, you want a beer?"
    Jay: *completely insane laugh/growl*
  • Instrument of Murder: Jay mangles Mistake's electric guitar and portable power supply, and electrocutes him with them. It is the most well-lit night scene in the entire film.
  • Just Hit Him: Near the end, Jay's attempts at killing Jennifer involve little more than throwing her at the ground a lot.
  • Large Ham: Jay. Seriously, just watch the scene where he's writhing and stumbling around after being stabbed, making weirder-than-usual noises.
  • Last-Name Basis: Harold's first name is only mentioned once.
  • Mugging the Monster: Harold finds Jay's car seemingly abandoned, and decides to siphon gas from it and steal the battery. This ends badly.
  • My Car Hates Me: One has a faulty battery, while the other has a defective gas gauge.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The film opens with a random motorist offering what he thinks is a stranded hitchhiker a beer. Unfortunately for him, it's actually an escaped psychopath on PCP.
  • Once is Not Enough: Jennifer stabs Jay in the back once, and recoils in horror instead of continuing to attack him.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Mistake.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Jay strings up either Harold or Wayne's body (it's dark) in the woods for Linda to find. Later, Maria find the mutilated body of one of the other women in the washroom.
  • Phlegmings: Jay drools a lot.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Mistake is supposed to be funny. Most of the cast do not agree.
  • Porn Stache: Wayne and Harold each have one.
  • Primal Scene: While being chased by Scott, Mistake ends up barging in on his father and stepmother half-naked in bed.
  • Psycho Serum: Jay spends most of the film on a PCP binge; PCP is about as close as we have in real life to a genuine psycho serum.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Jay laughs incessantly throughout the film even as he assaults people.
  • Villain Opening Scene: We open on Jay murdering a man who offered him a beer, stealing his car, taking PCP, and committing vehicular manslaughter.
  • The Voiceless: While he laughs a lot, Jay only actually talks twice.
  • Would Harm a Senior: After killing the motorist that offered him a beer, Jay steals the man's car and runs over an old woman.