Movie Review: Far From Home (1989)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1989 thriller starring Drew Barrymore and Matt Frewer.

Synopsis: A divorced Los Angeles writer and his teenaged daughter become stranded in a remote Nevada town when their car runs out of gas while driving home following a cross-country vacation. Unable to leave until the fuel truck arrives, they rent a trailer and spend the night. Unfortunately for them, they arrive just as an unknown serial killer is starting to claim victims.

Who's In It?


I came across this film on one of our movie channels this past weekend. It was about halfway over at the time but looked interesting so I ended up recording a later showing so my wife and I could watch it together. We did that last night and, overall, I have to say this movie was actually pretty good.

I'm going to start out by saying, as a thriller, this movie did lack something, mostly because there wasn't much in terms of actual murders. And, while it did try to keep the killer's identity a secret, it really wasn't too difficult to figure out who was behind the deaths. Oh, and I should also mention there is at least one scene that seems to be in the movie solely to show a teenaged Drew Barrymore wearing a bikini.

What makes this film memorable, however, are the people in that small Nevada town, including a grumpy/greedy trailer park manager (Susan Tyrrell), the survivalist mechanic (Richard Masur) or two former best friends, Jimmy (Jones) and Pinky (Rapp), who couldn't be more opposite of each other. Those characters, and the way they interacted with each other, really made this movie much more watchable than I think it normally would have been.

This is also one of those movies I want to eventually watch with my daughters, just so I can point out the importance of listening to their father. This is because Barrymore's character, Joleen, did pretty much everything to ignore her dad and nearly ended up raped on one occasion and was almost murdered on another.

To be fair, her dad (Frewer) liked to leave her alone in the trailer or in the care of complete strangers (hardly something that is going to get him elected dad of the year), it did leave me wondering if she learned a lesson. After all, I would think, at minimum, she would leave that town with some serious trust issues.

Far From Home (artisan)

A teen and her father run out of gas at a Nevada trailer park where a killer lurks.

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As I mentioned, this is a bit below average as far as thrillers/murder mysteries go. But, the various unique characters do make the film worth watching at least once.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/25/2016, StevenHelmer
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