Recently it seems that many people have been hitting a “wall” when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering it has been a year one could assume that we would all be used to the way the world is right now but it seems that isn’t so. Even people who respected the guidelines, worn their masks, washed their hands, and stayed 6 feet apart are just emotionally exhausted. Safer at Home shows us a reality, not too unbelievable, where the vaccination was only a bandaid on a rapidly evolving virus. Where people are not just asked to quarantine, but it is the law and good luck if you are caught after curfew.
In the year 2022, the pandemic has broken out on a nightmarish scale. The United States is on its third iteration of the covid strain and over 30 million Americans have lost their lives. Martial law has been put into place along with a curfew to slow the spread of the virus. This means Evan and his friends are going to have to spend his birthday in a video cat instead of going to Las Vegas. Luckily for Evan one of his friends has sent out presents to everyone full of toys, treats, and a few drugs to enhance the fun. Everyone is safe at home when the party is ready to get started, what could possibly go wrong?
While the premise may sound simple, it is the surprising world-building that Safer at Home creates that makes the plot shine. It establishes that the pandemic has fueled the police to be used as a pseudo-military hazmat team that patrols after the curfew and that with the hospitals flooded with cases, the emergency response teams are basically non-existent. While setups and payoffs will sound like first-year film school, the film handles them in a unique enough way to keep the audience invested.
What Safer at Home then does to make the audience forget about the obvious set us is tension and dread. This is a film that reveals its conflict and makes the audience experience it with the characters for the rest of the film. Where this style of immersion falters though it in the main conflict being centered around a character that isn’t very likable. Where this is a small cast production of only 7 main characters, any one of them would have been a better choice.
With the future of the world as well as the United State during the pandemic is a dense mystery, Safer at Home shows us the dangers of losing our cool under pressure. It also shows us a peak of what the future of the movie industry might be. Small productions that are forced to rely on the powers of strong acting and a tight story. If this is what we have to look forward to, it could sure be a hell of a lot worse. Recommended for those who have been looking for a thrilling drama set during the pandemic and not recommended to those who would want to spend their time not thinking about a deadly virus ravaging the world.
7 out of 10