[Review] The Domestics (2018)
The Domestics – In a terrifying post-apocalyptic world inhabited by murderous gangs divided into deadly factions, Nina and Mark race desperately across the lawless countryside in search of safety. As one depraved group narrows their search for the couple, they must work together as they are pushed to the breaking point to survive.
The Domestics begins with the government unleashing a black cloud of deadly poisons across the country, killing a major portion of America’s population and leaving the entire United States in utter chaos. Many of the survivors either hide in hopes of coming out alive or join together in vicious gangs, such as the Plowers, Sheets, or Nailers, most of them hunting for women.
We are then thrown into the lives of Nina and Mark, a couple on the brink of separation, while they search for safety in a lawless and terrifying gang-infested country. These gangs are extremely violent and they dress like they just left The Purge studio stage with behaviors of the exact same. Apart from a few rare compassionate citizens, these gangs get their thrills by gruesomely disposing of innocent people, raping women, and taking or doing whatever they desire. The couple is shown traveling across the now destroyed country on the way to Milwaukee to be with Nina’s mother, though they are constantly tracked by savages looking to make off with Nina and use her for sexual slavery. Meanwhile, an isolated DJ echoes on the radio the details of what lies in wait for them.
There are even a few friendly faces around the other assorted crazies and fellow domestics are few and far between, but they do meet one other down-to-earth husband and wife, played by Lance Reddick and Dana Gourrier, who have them over for supper in a beautifully played scene that finally explodes with a sickening pop. Bosworth and Hoechlin make a persuasive couple, and both characters reveal unexpected depths, Nina especially, giving Bosworth her meatiest role in years as their journey continues.
Regarding the making of the film and his approach towards in-camera and practical effects, Nelson said:
“I wanted to make a movie that did action the old-fashioned way. There is a reality to what’s on-screen because it’s all real. Doing almost everything in the camera was very important to me, and I think visually makes the movie stand out from the over-processed, computer-generated summer action films.”
The remaining events of the trip, and whether the couple makes it to their real or metaphorical destinations, fill the rest of this film. It also never entirely feels like Hoechlin and Bosworth were acting in the same movie, and while both were excellent in their roles, together they were less than the sum of their parts. They were entirely convincing as distant spouses but less so as two people who loved each other. I never felt the chemistry. I am not entirely sure that we couldn’t swap out either Mark or Nina for a completely unrelated random stranger and have the movie turn out any different. While it will never be a favorite of mine, at all, it’s still worth a one-time watch. I doubt I’d recommend this movie because I’m sure I’ll forget it just as soon as I send this review in.
Title: The Domestics
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Action
Studio: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Tyler Hoechlin, Sonoya Mizuno
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Mike P. Nelson
Reviewed by: Chad Barlett
Our Rating: 3.2 /5
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