The Movie Waffler Interview - THIS IS OUR HOME Star Simone Policano | The Movie Waffler

Interview - THIS IS OUR HOME Star Simone Policano

simone policano
There’s a killer moment in the new film This is Our Home that’s going to stay with horror audiences long after the credits rolled – as actress and producer Simone Policano teases.

Omri Dorani’s caravan of suspense This is Our Home premieres on DVD and Demand this December from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Jeff Ayars and Simone Policano star in the chilling account of a struggling couple who, during a weekend getaway, are greeted in the middle of the night by a child claiming to be their son.

this is our home poster

First horror film you remember seeing as a kid?

The Ring.

How did it affect you?

Permanently terrified of VHS’s. I was petitioning for DVDs before they even existed.

Do horror movies still scare you?

Yeah, but that’s absolutely the best part. I never want to get to a point where I’m immune to a great horror movie.

We seem to be desensitised, to a large part, nowadays. Why do you think that is?

Everything is just so over-the-top now. I just watched all eight Saw movies nearly back-to-back with one of my best friends, and something we were sort of floored by is how the first one is unequivocally the best. That franchise spans over 13 years and film technology and special effects evolved so much in that time frame, but the later movies just relied too heavily on fake gore. The first film is plenty gory, mind you, but they focus more on the anticipation of violence than the violence itself, so when it actually happens it hits you harder. The later movies are just sort of torture porn. Which, don’t get me wrong, I will happily inhale. But by the end you’re watching a woman get sawed in half in 3D, limbs flying everywhere and organs falling out, and it’s just so over-the-top that it doesn’t even register as real anymore.

This is Our Home is an ‘escape’ movie – in that, it doesn’t play like anything you’d read in the newspaper headlines. Which is welcoming. Because it is such a fantasy, was it a fun shoot? More fun than say, something like Blue Bloods which is obviously based so closely and accurately on real-life incidents?

I definitely can’t think of two more different shoots than This Is Our Home and Blue Bloods. One’s a small indie film whose entire budget is less than a single day of shooting on the other. What always intrigued me about TIOH is that it sort of sits somewhere between fantasy and reality - no, you won’t necessarily read a story like it happening in the Daily News, but the issues it raises and questions it asks about trauma, relationships and human connection certainly have resonance in the real world. TIOH really feels like my baby (pun…intended) in that I was making it with people I love, shooting in my actual house and producing as well, which meant I had way more creative control than I would have if I were only acting. Blue Bloods, on the other hand, is truly a behemoth: my episode was the premiere of this season, and the show’s 200th episode. So with something like that, you’re a cog in a huge machine. I had an absolute blast with that team - Tom Selleck was incredibly kind to me and Treat Williams, whose daughter I played, has become a friend and mentor. Could not have had a better experience. But it’s just a totally different vibe.

How did you get involved with TIOH?

Jeff Ayars - my co-star and co-producer - and I were dating at the time, and Jeff knew Omri Dorani, our director, from working on films together years ago. About two and a half years ago Omri had just finished working on a broad comedy “studio”-feel type film, and reached out to Jeff about wanting to do something darker and more artsy. Jeff introduced me to Omri and Omri brought in his writing partner, Rob Harmon, and the four of us began developing the idea together.

And you produced it, too?


Did you get a big say – since you’re a producer – in how your character was portrayed?

I did, yeah. I mean with a movie like this, Reina, Cory and Zeke are the film. So we all talked a lot about who these people are, where they came from and how they’ve gotten to where they ended up. As the female voice on a film about a woman navigating motherhood-related trauma, it was very important to me that I could be loud. And I was certainly not fought on that.

Is there a lot or a little of you in Reina?

Ha. I’ll give you the classic “yes and no.” I don’t really relate to her desire to settle down and build a family/stable home life, I’ve never wanted that. I’m also 25, so, who knows. But her fierce commitment to what she wants certainly resonates with me. To me this is far less a movie about a woman who wants to be a mom than it is about having autonomy over your life and choices, and what happens when that is stripped from you.

And in terms of other elements of the movie process – editing, marketing, distribution. Do you play a part there, too?

As a producer on an indie you’re pretty much involved in every part of the process. Matt Decker was our incredible editor so he gets all the credit there, but we saw an initial cut and got to give our input/notes. Omri actually sent the first cut around to a lot of the film’s team for feedback, which I thought was really cool; it’s not common for the cinematographer or production designer, for example, to be able to give thoughts on the film in that stage. But everyone who worked on this film really felt like a family.

Is there a moment in This is Our Home that genuinely spooks you? Can you tease it?

Two words: ice pick.

This is Our Home is on DVD and VOD December 3rd from Uncork’d Entertainment.