“Chris always made me kind of nervous even before all that. Did you ever see The Omen? That little kid? You never know. He would just throw you down the stairs.” – Meredith Rumack, I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore.
The most important part of a film is that it is interesting. It doesn’t matter what concept or idea it brings to the table, as long as it is interesting it will attract an audience. Then, of course, there are those films that don’t manage to do anything interesting for their entire runtime. Case in point, I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore. My attempts at finding a half decent Netflix special are failing spectacularly and this sort of highlights everything wrong with Netflix originals.
I’m pretty sure this is the first film I’ve seen with Melanie Lynskey in it. That’s all well and good but she needs to give a decent performance, right? Well, she certainly didn’t think so. This isn’t just her, but everyone, everyone in this film looks bored. If I’m using this film as a way of judging the talents of Lynskey, then I certainly won’t want to watch any of her other films. Where credit is due, she’s working with a horrendous script and Netflix originals just seem to have this affect on people, turning them into bad actors.
Even big name actors (or former big A-listers) like Elijah Wood don’t help proceedings too well. For me it was simply that he has been provided a role he is not fit for. Him playing weird and neurotic characters just doesn’t sit well with me and it simply doesn’t work. There’s nothing wrong with his performance, a tad phoned in but that’s to be expected. Absolutely there’s a hint of chemistry between Wood and Lynskey, but nothing that I would warrant as noteworthy. It’s generic and to be quite honest sub par, it’s just better than the rest of the film. Something about a British actor playing an American hillbilly, it just doesn’t work whatsoever.
My biggest concern was how genuinely boring the film was. I ended up getting ten minutes in, and then watching an entirely different film instead. After that film I returned to this and slogged through the other hour and twenty minutes of filler. I’ve never really had a problem with films being boring. It’s very rare, although it did happen with Daddy’s Home (2015). Even the most boring of films can manage to make me sit through them from the start to the finish in one sitting. Something about this film is just so grating that it makes it unbearable to sit through.
This was once again a directorial debut, this time from Macon Blair. His work is unimpressive to say the least, nothing at all really surprises me with this film. That’s the problem with Blair’s debut. He doesn’t try anything new, he doesn’t aim for something that is so out of the ordinary, he keeps it to what people expect. Sure, I understand if he wouldn’t want to take too many major risks, but there’s only so much you can do with a traditional plot. The majority of the changes that are made to the plot in the first place don’t even make that much sense.
Actually, the worst part of this film was the dialogue. Searching up a quote for this film did nothing but highlight how truly bad it is. The actual premise is fairly good, and to be fair has been done before in sort of similar fashion. For some reason The Fugitive (1993) popped into my mind, just because Richard Kimble randomly knows what to do. A similar thing happens in this film, where all of a sudden Ruth manages to get a footprint from some cement or something. It’s genuinely technical stuff and the fact that Ruth even has the equipment and know how to do such a thing just doesn’t make sense. Tiny little things like that were frequently adding up and it was very annoying to me.
It’s never good when the only part of I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore is that you enjoy is the soundtrack. Even that had some lacking components to it as well, but for the most part the film was poor. Every time I switch to my next notebook for my film notes, I like to start and end the book with an interesting film. This is now my fifth notebook that I plan on filling with notes, and this certainly should not have been the first film I reviewed. Maybe I should’ve gone with something with some weight or depth behind it. Rather than doing that, I simply went for the first thing that popped up on Netflix.
A shoddy plot with some poor direction and even worse performances. There’s nothing whatsoever that can make this film any good. Not even Elijah Wood can save this film, especially not with a performance as bad as that either. Whatever your stance on this film may be, it’s clear to me that it is yet another one of those Netflix films. You know the ones I mean, the ones that try and tug your heartstrings and so on, well I’m not having it this time. It didn’t work with It’s a Kind of Funny Story (2010), and it doesn’t work here. Sometimes it absolutely does work, but it needs to be tastefully done and needs to make sense. That, specifically, is the most lacking part of this film. It simply doesn’t make sense.
Now to be fair, it’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen. That would in fact be Bright (2017), yet another Netflix special. My point is, Netflix keep putting these films out, and there’s a very slim amount that are actually any good at all. It’s a shame, because even with choices like Elijah Wood, the film falls completely flat. One of those rare films where I was simply annoyed by what I was seeing, rather than engaging with it. Sure, I tried my best to understand it, and I did understand it for the most part. The main issue with I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore however is that I understood how stupid it truly was.