“Almost Home” deals with a difficult topic, a close family member’s struggle with dementia. But it finds a way to present it in a dignified manner, and in a way which considers also a child’s point of view.
Valerie Baines (Erica House) is suffering difficult times. Her husband Dan is serving overseas, and she has to work to support her daughter, 12-year-old Rachel (Bella Mancuso), and her father Doyle (John Lina), who is at assisted living, and rapidly losing his memory. One day, when Rachel comes home from school, Doyle appears there and tells her that he has something very important to tell to her mother. Together they go to find her, and get lost on the way, causing huge worry for Valerie and the local community.
After setting the premise, the movie follows the adventure of Doyle and Rachel in Versailles, Kentucky. They miss their bus-stop and end up roaming around the beautiful countryside, searching for the way home. Valerie makes frantic efforts to find them, with the help of her neighbor Edna (Emily Miller) and police officer Carlisle (Jeff Alexander). Despite the serious overtone, the movie offers some comedic reliefs in the characters of Edna, and the eccentric farmer Earl (Paul Thomas) who helps Rachel and Doyle in their search for home.
“Almost Home” is a Christian themed movie. Its theme song is the famous hymn Nearer, My God, to Thee by Sarah Flower Adams. The characters put their hope and trust in God in solving their worries and problems, and pray to ask His advice and protection.
The movie is directed by Tom Whitus, who is a Christian movie director. He is from New Albany, Indiana, and in 2006 founded Silver Hills Pictures, named after the Silver Hills neighborhood in New Albany. The actors he uses are clearly not professionals, and their performance is very amateurish, making the fact that it is independently produced very noticeable. But if you can disregard the somewhat clumsy acting, the story itself is enjoyable. The movie is a warm-hearted family movie, which sends a message of kindness and charity, and that death does not end life, but transfers it into eternity.
Almost Home can be watched for free on YouTube.