Issue date: 
Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Directed by James Ashcroft, Owen Marshall's chilling short story comes to life on the big screen.

Following its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, the gripping trailer for new local film Coming Home in the Dark has today been unveiled. Confirmed for nationwide cinema release on 12 August, the nail-biting thriller follows a teacher who is forced to confront a secret from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters take his family on a nightmare road-trip.

Based on a short story written by award-winning New Zealand author Owen Marshall, Coming Home in the Dark’s screenplay was adapted by James Ashcroft and his long-time collaborator, writer Eli Kent (Millie Lies Low). As both director and executive producer, the film is James Ashcroft’s feature film directorial debut. Coming Home in the Dark stars Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries), Erik Thomson (The Luminaries), Miriama McDowell (Head High) and Matthias Luafutu (Ghost in the Shell).  

Ashcroft describes Coming Home in the Dark’s short story as both brutal and poetic, capturing his attention immediately. Ashcroft first optioned the story ten years ago, commenting, “I was utterly compelled by its tone and setting, along with its events and characters. It’s a huge privilege for us to have been trusted in bringing Owen Marshall’s work to the screen. I’m looking forward to sharing this simple, terrifying and universal story with Kiwi audiences.”

Tipped by Variety magazine as one of their ’11 hottest movies for sale’ at Sundance Film Festival, Coming Home in the Dark was described by Variety’s Guy Lodge as “an unexpected left turn from its genre course, wading into tricky moral territory and not giving simple satisfaction.”

Coming Home in the Dark is produced by Mike Minogue (Talkback), Catherine Fitzgerald (Bellbird) and Desray Armstrong (Juniper) under Homecoming Productions banner. With investment from The New Zealand Film Commission, Coming Home in the Dark is distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Monster Pictures. Penguin Random House are set to re-release Owen Marshall’s short story in August, to time with the film’s release in nationwide cinemas.


Last updated: 
Thursday, 27 May 2021