'Coming Home In The Dark' Trailer: Intense Sundance Thriller Comes Out This Fall

Coming Home in the Dark, a low-budget New Zealand horror thriller that debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival, is one of the most suspenseful films I've seen in years. It's the feature directorial debut of James Ashcroft, and it's one of those debuts that is so assured that it practically forces you to take note of the director's name so you can pay attention to whatever they do next.

Dark Sky Films has picked up Coming Home in the Dark and will release it this fall, and today the company put out a new trailer and poster to give audiences a sense of what to expect. But despite this good trailer, I don't think it properly prepares you for just how much this movie puts its protagonists (and the audience) through the metaphorical wringer.

Coming Home in the Dark Trailer

"You won't exactly enjoy this movie, but you might very well be awed by its emotional power," /Film's Chris Evangelista wrote in his review of this film from Sundance, and I tend to agree with him. Erik ThomsonMiriama McDowell, Matthias Luafutu, and Daniel Gillies make up the primary cast, with Gillies turning in a threatening, mesmerizing performance that you won't soon forget. He's the ostensible villain of the piece, but as the movie unspools, you realize that his character could very easily be the hero of a different story. It's all about perspective, and Coming Home in the Dark does a great job at creating some shifting sympathies, even in the face of bleakness and brutality.

Coming Home in the Dark Poster

Get a load of this atmospheric poster which, like the simmering tension in the movie itself, makes it seem like there's a fire burning just out of sight.

Here is the movie's official synopsis:

A family's idyllic outing at an isolated coastline descends into terror when high school teacher Alan 'Hoaggie' Hoaganraad, his wife Jill, and stepsons Maika and Jordon unexpectedly come across a pair of murderous drifters? – ?the enigmatic psychopath Mandrake and his hulking man-child accomplice Tubs? – who thrust them into a ?nightmare road trip. At first, the family's terror seems to be born of a random encounter with two sociopaths?, b?ut as the night drags?? on?,? Hoaggie and Jill realize that this nightmare ?was set in motion 20 years earlier; and as they approach their mysterious final destination?, ?Mandrake reveals the horrible secret driving his actions?.?

Coming Home in the Dark will be available in select theaters and on VOD on October 1, 2021.