The setup is familiar, but love is the dynamic that sustains the hellish road trip that Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin have to take in The Domestics, a new survival horror thriller set to hit theaters and digital streaming this month.
Sort of like Mad Max, or maybe Fallout without the radiation, The Domestics pits husband and wife couple Mark West (Hoechlin) and his wife Nina (Bosworth) against raider-like gangs who’ve carved up their own little makeshift fiefdoms in the wake of a recent, but unspecified, cataclysm that’s left nearly everyone on Earth (or at least the U.S.) dead.
With their relationship already at the breaking point before the first alarm ever sounded, the Wests now have to adjust their priorities as they plot their course across a 200-mile stretch of open country to reach Nina’s family. But on the way, they’ll have to traverse territory controlled by eight ruthless, post-apocalyptic gangs with names that bear the logic of their violent M.O. (the Nailers, the Sheets, the Plowboys, and so on).
Re-forging the bonds that brought them together is the theme that carries the Wests throughout The Domestics, writer-director Mike P. Nelson told Entertainment Weekly. “[I]t’s a movie about love and fighting for what’s right in uncertain times. I wanted to tell a story about no matter how bad things can get and that no matter how broken it is, love can still win,” Nelson explained.
That’s not to say The Domestics is anywhere close to projecting a mellow vibe. Nelson went for as much live-action, straight-to-camera fighting as he could, saying the goal was 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…I think [it] visually makes the movie stand out from the over-processed, computer-generated summer action films.”
Also starring Lance Reddick (Fringe, John Wick, Horizon: Zero Dawn), The Domestics is among the first features to be release from MGM’s newly-revived Orion Classics label, which emphasizes simultaneous debuts of movies both to theaters and to home VOD. It’s set to hit select theaters on June 28, before hitting streaming platforms a day later.