I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

There's plenty to love about the quirky and stylish Netflix original movie I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore. It was released at the end of February, 2017, so it's new. Actress Melanie Lynskey really shines as the lead character, Ruth. The style feels indie and modern. There are also some genuinely suspenseful moments involving dark hallways, hiding people, and lurking danger that had me holding my breath. There were also some quirky funny moments, most of which coming from the character Tony, played by Elijah Wood.

I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore was written and directed by an actor named Macon Blair. He has appeared in at least a dozen movies and TV shows. And, he has written or co-written a handful of projects. According to IMDB (The International Movie Database), this is the first movie he has directed. For a first time directing, this movie is incredibly strong. The emotions are deep, the suspense is real, and the writing is great.

However, before I start showering this thing with unyielding accolade, I have to throw some cold water on this fire. There are some things about it I didn't like that much.

1. Scenes of absurd and garish violence
    There were a handful of scenes of absurd and bloody violence that would easily make this movie a strong rating of R. I don't know if they were going for shock value, comedic effect, or both. But, it didn't really work for me and it kind of freaked me out. There's a scene of violence I can't reveal that was so strange, I can't help but think it must have been an inside joke for the director. It was both disturbing and cringeworthy, but I couldn't laugh at it because it was just so odd. Sometimes I actually am entertained by certain types of movie violence, especially if it's over-the-top or self aware. But, this was on some other level.

2. Constant Profanity
Call me Amish. Call me old-fashioned. It was just too much to handle.

3. The reflections on life were sometimes too weird
The moral of this quirky tale is that the world is not fair, people are mean, and there might not be a reason for any of it. Our hero, Ruth, is inundated with selfish, rude, and cold-hearted people. So, when she's the victim of a home invasion, her faith in humanity is even more deadened. There are some interesting and all-too-relatable moments Ruth has in her every day life. A person cutting in front of you in line at the grocery store. Rude co-workers. Neighbors letting dogs poop in your yard. The list goes on. However, the overall vibe I got was that this movie doesn't have much faith in humanity. Friends? Maybe. Family? A little bit. But, "society"? Nope. No faith.


I'm really torn over this one. While I loved this movie's style, writing, grit, and acting, there were elements that held it back from true greatness. So, by a near miss, I cannot recommend this Netflix original. It gets big points for originality and style. But, it's a tad too depressing. But, that comes with one minor asterisk: I would say if you are into obscure art films, dark quirky dramas, or are a fan of Elijah Wood, maybe give it a chance.


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