Will Wernick helms a quarantine-based thriller in Safer At Home from Vertical Entertainment. Two years into the pandemic, a group of friends throws an online party with a night of games, drinking, and drugs. After taking an ecstasy pill, things go terribly wrong, and the safety of their home becomes more terrifying than the raging chaos outside. The friends include couples Jen (Jocelyn Hudon) & Evan (Dan J. Johnson), Ben (Adwin Brown) & Liam (Daniel Robaire) and Oliver (Michael Kupsik) & Mia (Emma Lahana). Also in the party mix is single party girl Harper (Alisa Allapach).
The film's script comes from Will Wernick and Lia Bozoneliswho, who have cooked up an interesting concept. I enjoyed the Zoom angle that Will Wernick employs for his narrative structure and the angles the film takes. In the real world, we've been in a pandemic for over a year now. So, the film has a premise of art imitating life. Instead of using an angle of a serial killer or mutated zombies, Wernick chooses to tap into real-world frustrations that we've all felt. Throughout the film, we see the couples argue and almost turn on each other for the smallest issues that communication could quickly resolve.
When the plot does kick off and forces our hero (who I won't reveal here) into action, I understand the angle that Will Wernick was going for. Initially, I didn't know where the plot would end up, but I liked a few twists. This carries over to the ending that worked for me; however, I can see some viewers having an issue.
A film of this sort doesn't require much in terms of acting. I found Dan J. Johnson to be the strongest of the males, and with the ladies, I liked Alisa Allapach as Harper the most. My one gripe with the film in terms of casting was Adwin Brown as Ben. I didn't like the characterization that the script gave Ben's beta male.
Running under eighty-five minutes, Safer At Home never overstays its welcome and avoids overthinking its basic plot. If director Will Wernick's intent was to raise the pandemic's conversation and the former administration’s handling of it, he succeeded.
Final Grade: C+
Safer At Home is In Select Theaters, VOD & Digital on February 26, 2021