It was amazing that this thriller engaged attention from essentially a three-character drama. Set in an idyllic Italian villa with a stunning countryside, the film begins with an online advertisement for renting the all-furnished villa for a steep price. The power of the internet to make such a tempting retreat easy to rent is the subtle theme that both starts and ends this well-crafted film.
Bryan and Cassie are the couple who rent the villa online. As the film progresses, we learn that their goal is to get away from New York to a secluded locale so that they can "fix" their relationship. Cassie had a tryst with her co-worker Justin after she and Bryan had an argument. Apparently, Bryan caught Nathan and Cassie in the act. For Cassie, "it only lasted two minutes." But for Bryan, he cannot get those two minutes out of his head, even with multiple doses of viagra. By the end of the film, it will be "mission accomplished" as Bryan and Cassie will have "fixed" their little problem, but at a great cost!
Before they are settled in their villa, Bryan and Cassie are visited by a mysterious Italian stranger, who claims to be their neighbor. Federico oozes charm and takes a special liking to Cassie. But unbeknownst to the couple, he has set up a complex system of hidden cameras within the villa wherein he may eavesdrop on Bryan and Cassie while he sits in the master control room.
The film includes some beautiful photography of the lush region of Umbria with the quaint town of Todi figuring in the action when Bryan and Cassie visit the little town. It is there that Bryan gets drunk with Federico, who appears to be playing a dangerous game in trying to separate the couple. Federico will bring in two women to help Bryan "even the playing field" after his cuckolding. But how far is Federico going to take his dastardly plan?
The script for "Welcome Home" was especially inventive with its underlying theme of the untoward effects of the internet and video technology. The enterprising Federico recognizes the power of the hidden camera when he sets up his diabolical video taping system in order to entrap his victims. But it may have a blowback effect on him, as well as on Bryan and Cassie.
The screenwriters incorporate one ingenious detail early in the film when Bryan feels uncomfortable in an intimate moment with Cassie in the pool because several ceramic figurines alongside the pool appear to be watching the couple. This was one imaginative moment among many in this well-conceived and well-acted thriller.
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