Homecoming review (DVD)

When small-town football star Mike (Long) returns home from college to "retire his jersey" (no, me neither), his high-school sweetheart Shelby (Barton) can't accept the fact that they are no longer a couple. So she decides to take his new girlfriend, Elizabeth (Stroup), out of the picture for good.

It's being marketed as a "spine-chilling suspense thriller", but Homecoming is far from it. It's a potboiler that would be more at home as a TV-movie-of-the-week. The cast are all veterans of TV dramas – Barton in The O.C., Stroup in 90210 and Long in Jack & Bobby (no, me neither) – and the acting never rises above that level. The major plot device sees Barton's character accidently run down Stroup's character, then rather than take her to hospital, Barton takes her home and keeps her prisoner. Whch makes Homecoming a mishmash of Misery and Fatal Attraction. With teenagers. And it stars Mischa Barton ... so I guess it would be better named Mischarly?

To be fair, it's perfectly watchable (if you can ignore the bad acting). You'll never be surprised by anything that happens – it's all cliches and obvious plot points – but the leads are all pretty to look at, so it's an easy way to spend almost 90 minutes of your life. But one thing that's stuck with me: I never thought I'd clap eyes an actress skinnier than Barton. I was wrong.

EXTRAS ★ Just four deleted scenes, and the trailer.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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