Home Movie is a 2011 American Teen Slasher Horror film directed by Rian Johnson and written by first time writer Megan Thompson.

The film stars Kay Panabaker, Rory Culkin, Emily Meade, Spencer Treat Clark, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Shia LeBeouf, Ashley Rickards, Corey Feldman and Toni Collette.

The film was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures.

The plot concerns an aspiring filmmaker and high school outcast Jake Kelley attempting to catch the affection of Lindsay Swanson, the most popular girl in school. When Lindsay tells Jake a secret about what happened on a trip during the summer, Jake goes on a horror film-esque quest to make things right with her but with revenge on his mind.

The film was released on August 19, 2011 to rave reviews from critics and audiences for it's skewering of the slasher genre and for it's story, direction, cast and maturity. Home Movie was a surprise box office hit, grossing $240 million dollars worldwide.

Note: This article is dedicated to Megan Thompson, the writer of Home Movie. Her script from Simply Scripts was a wonderful read and i loved every minute of it.


The film opens inside a classroom where a homemade slasher film is screened to a group of students among them is is the film's director Jake Kelley. After the screening, the school's jock Peter Lowndes makes a snide comment of the film which starts a near confrontation with Jake. After class, Peter attempts to reconcile with his recently ex-grilfriend Jenny James but her friends Lindsay Swanson and Amber Fisher rebuffs his attempt. Jake and his friend Todd Anders watch the film in it's entirety at one point viewing Amber's nude scene which reveals that Amber begrudgingly stared in his film. Suddenly, this catches the eye of Ry Connor who introduces himself to the boys as he and Todd learn that Jake has feelings for Lindsay.

At home, Jake then attempts to masturbate to a picture of Lindsay from a yearbook but is interrupted by his abusive mother Loretta Kelley who tells him to clean the whole house while she's gone which he begrudgingly accepts. The next day, a weary Jake is driven to school by Lindsay which sparks a friendship which later turns into a relationship much to the shock of their respective friends.

One night, Jake takes Lindsay on a date to Rosie's Diner where they run into Peter and his rebound lover Kitt Gaines which upsets Lindsay. Afterwards, Lindsay reveals to Jake that Peter raped her the previous summer while vacationing with her friends before angrily telling him to leave. The next day, the two reconcile but have a heated confrontation later that evening where Lindsay accuses Jake of filming her while she is changing clothes before devising a plan to make a movie.

The next day at school, Jake creates a cast list for his homemade movie with Lindsay's friends a part of the list which shocks her but chokes up to Peter's name on the list which reminds her of last summer. They head over to Jenny's that night where Lindsay and Jenny have a short but bitter conversation about Peter who almost over heard their conversation.

After Lindsay leaves, Peter tries to have sex with Jenny while watching the movie Scream but Jenny is still upset about her talk with Lindsay and dumps Peter who angrily storms out of the house. Once outside, he jumps into his car and drives away but finds Lindsay's car not far from the house and is attacked by a female figure who chases him all the way back to Jenny's where he is run over by his own car driven by the figure who is revealed to be Lindsay. Back in the house, Jenny is attacked and stabbed to death by her own attacker who is none other than Jake who filmed the murder he committed.


  • Kay Panabaker as Lindsay Swanson
  • Rory Culkin as Jake Kelley
  • Emily Meade as Amber Fisher
  • Daryl Sabara as Ry Conner
  • Spencer Treat Clark as Todd Anders
  • Alexa Vega as Jenny James
  • Ashley Rickards as Katherine "Kitt" Gaines
  • Shia LeBeouf as Peter Lowndes
  • Toni Collette as Loretta Kelley
  • Corey Feldman as Mr. MacDonald


  • The film was shot in Brookline, Massachusetts where principal photography ran from August 2009 to October 2009. Filming then wrapped on November 20th, 2009.
  • Martha MacIsaac was considered for the role of Amber Fisher but she turned it down due to being cast in The Last House On The Left. Ironically, her co-star Spencer Treat Clark plays Todd Anders in this film.
  • Emma Bell, Shenae Grimes, Scout Taylor Compton and Ashley Tisdale were all considered for the role of Jenny James but they all backed out due to other projects.
  • Ashley Rickards read the script and was impressed with the story to point where she auditioned for the role of Kitt Gaines. Rian Johnson was impressed with her audition and decides to cast her as Kitt, much to Rickards delight.
  • The film was originally going to be distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Village Roadshow Films with a release date set for March 19th, 2010 but this film and the upcoming The Cabin In The Woods were pulled from their respective 2010 release dates due to MGM having financial difficulties. The film was later picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures in late 2010 and is subsequently scheduled for a summer 2011 release of August 19th.
  • Rian Johnson wanted his frequent actor and collaborator Noah Segan for the role of Todd Anders but he was busy filming Deadgirl (2008) at the time so he kindly turned down his offer since they worked together on Brick (2006).
  • The character of Katherine "Kitt" Gaines was written for Thora Birch in mind but she was busy with other projects like the Terror Train remake, Train (2008).
  • Rian Johnson wanted to film Home Movie in Livingston, Montana but Megan Thompson objected saying the film would be better with a New England setting so she decided on Brookline, Massachusetts.
  • Spencer Treat Clark was the last actor to be cast as Todd Anders due to his performance in The Last House On The Left impressing Rian Johnson.
  • Megan Thompson envisioned Felissa Rose of Sleepaway Camp to play Jake's abusive mother, Loretta Kelley but she turned down the offer in favor of Return To Sleepaway Camp (2008)
  • Alexa Vega originally auditioned for the roles of Lindsay Swanson and Amber Fisher but was cast as Jenny James after Rian Johnson became impressed with her performances as Vanessa Snyder and Carmen Cortez in her films Odd Girl Out and Spy Kids respectively.
  • Nolan Gerald Funk, Cody Linley, Johnny Simmons and Daryl Sabara auditioned for the role for Todd Anders but Sabara was cast as Ry Conner after his co-star Alexa Vega convinced Rian Johnson to let Daryl join the cast since they worked together on the Spy Kids trilogy in the past.
  • Taylor Momsen was originally cast as Lindsay Swanson but she had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with the hit CW teen drama Gossip Girl, leaving Kay Panabaker to join the cast playing Lindsay.
  • Hayden Panettiere, Sara Paxton, Emma Roberts, Hilary Duff, Carly Schroeder and Jamie Lynn Spears were considered for the role of Lindsay Swanson but Spears was pregnant at the time and turned down the role.
  • Emily Meade accepted the role of Amber Fisher because she adored the script, calling it savage, smart and really devilish. She labeled it as a textbook slasher with loads of sass and calls it fresh and tech-savvy.
  • Teddy Dunn, Trevor Morgan and Matt Lanter were considered for the role of Ry Connor.
  • Drake Bell and Micheal Welch both auditioned for the role of Jake Kelley. Ironically, Welch played the main killer in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006).
  • Jojo Levesque, Emma Stone and Candice Accola were considered for the role of Kitt Gaines.
  • Jessica Stroup, Danielle Savre, Amanda Bynes, Mae Whitman and Mika Boorem auditioned for the role of Amber Fisher.
  • For the small part of Mr. MacDonald, Corey Feldman was suggested to Rian Johnson by Megan Fox who also screen tested for the part of Kitt Gaines. The reason why Feldman was suggested is that Fox was a fan of the 1987 vampire classic The Lost Boys (1987).
  • Luke Grimes, Kelan Lutz, Thomas Dekker and Josh Peck auditioned for the role of Peter Lowndes before Shia LeBeouf was cast.
  • The MPAA was extremely impressed with the rough cut of this film and gave Home Movie an R rating almost immediately. It was rated R for strong bloody horror violence, language throughout, some sexuality/nudity and teen alcohol use.
  • The climax at Ry's house party used 170 gallons of fake blood for the deaths and the fight between Lindsay and Jake.
  • Toni Collete accepted the role of Loretta Kelley after reading the script in it's entirety.
  • Devon Bostick was offered the role of Jake Kelley but turned it down in favor for working on Saw VI (2009)
  • Home Movie received very positive reviews from critics and fans of the slasher genre for it's mature approach, cast, and the story and it's deconstruction of the genre itself. The film holds a 88% on Rotten Tomatoes with consensus reads, "Even it's a bit too cheeky for some diehard slasher fans, Home Movie is a gruesome, darkly humorous and clever takedown of the genre that hits it's marks the way other slashers have failed".


[1] Home Movie


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