Far from Home (1989 film)

Far from Home is a 1989 independent thriller film. It stars Matt Frewer, Drew Barrymore, Richard Masur, Susan Tyrrell, Jennifer Tilly, Dick Miller, and Anthony Rapp. John Spencer also appears in a cameo appearance. It centers on a divorced father who breaks down in a desert town along with his teenage daughter, forced to stay in a trailer park they attract the intentions of a troubled local who becomes dangerously fixated on one of them. The film features Barrymore's first onscreen kiss.

Far from Home
Far from Home VHS cover.jpg
VHS cover
Directed byMeiert Avis
Produced byDonald P. Borchers
Written byTheodore Gershuny
Tommy Lee Wallace
Music byJonathan Elias
CinematographyPaul Elliott
Edited byMarc Grossman
Lightning Pictures
Planet Productions
Distributed byVestron Pictures
Release date
  • June 30, 1989 (1989-06-30)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$11,859[1]

The film was directed by Meiert Avis, in his feature film directorial debut. Barrymore's book, Little Girl Lost, which describes her battles with addiction, was written around the same time as this film was made.[2] The film was shot in the Black Rock Desert and in Gerlach, Nevada.


Charlie Cox (Matt Frewer) is a divorced magazine writer based in Los Angeles. Charlie and his daughter Joleen (Drew Barrymore) are on their way home from a cross country vacation when they run out of gas in the small Nevada town of Banco, on the day before Joleen's 14th birthday.

When they stop in a local supermarket, they find no one in the store except Sheriff Bill Childers (Dick Miller). Joleen finds the body of the store's owner, Ferrell Hovis, in a pool of blood. Charlie and Joleen discover that the nearby gas station is out of gas, forcing them to check into a trailer park owned by an abusive woman named Agnes Reed (Susan Tyrrell). They meet Agnes's teenage son Jimmy (Andras Jones) as well as their neighbors, fellow travelers Louise (Karen Austin) and Amy (Jennifer Tilly).

That night, Agnes is killed when a hand reaches in through her bathroom window and pushes a small fan into the bathtub water, electrocuting her. Amy discovers Agnes's body, and Sheriff Childers responds the murder. Meanwhile, as she swims in the trailer park's pool, Joleen hears two people loudly having sex in a nearby trailer. While watching through a window, she's startled by Jimmy watching through another window. Later that day, when Jimmy tries to rape Joleen, she is rescued by Pinky Sears (Anthony Rapp), another local teenager.

Charlie and Joleen agree to carpool with Louise and Amy. The killer is now obsessed with Joleen, and steals her journal. Minutes later, as Charlie, Joleen, Louise, and Amy are about to leave the trailer park, the killer blows up the car, with Amy in it, to prevent Joleen from leaving. The next day, when Jimmy tries to take the money from Agnes's office, he is accused not only of trying to rob the office, but also of the murders of Ferrell, Agnes, and Amy.

Duckett goes to Pinky's trailer, where he discovers that Pinky's mother has been dead for some time, and her body is covered with bags of ice. Pinky, who is revealed to be the killer, stabs Duckett with a screwdriver and leaves. An unwitting Joleen accompanies Pinky to his hideaway at an abandoned building. When Pinky gets out her diary, she realizes that he is the killer. Joleen tells him that he needs help, and she runs from him.

When Duckett radios Sheriff Childers to notify him that Pinky has Joleen, Childers and Charlie head to the hideaway. Pinky kills Childers by cutting his throat. After Joleen gets her diary back, Pinky chases her up to the top platform of a nearby radio tower. Charlie tries to get up on the platform, but Pinky stops Charlie by cutting his hand.

Pinky says that he thought Joleen loved him. Duckett, who is sitting in a nearby vehicle with a rifle in his hands, fires a shot that causes Pinky to fall off of the tower. Pinky is killed when he lands in a large satellite dish far below.

Later, Duckett explains about Pinky keeping his mother's body iced, and then explains that Pinky started slipping over the edge before he ever met Joleen. Pinky had been keeping ice on his mother's body and leaving her TV on because he really didn't want to believe she was gone. When Pinky went to the supermarket to get food, and Ferrell denied him, he killed Ferrell. He had killed Agnes when she demanded payment of the rent and had blown up the car to stop Joleen from leaving.

Charlie, Joleen, and Louise leave Banco, and they head home to California. An angry Jimmy, who had escaped from Sheriff Childers's car, is seen walking along some railroad tracks, to parts unknown.



Critical reception for Far from Home has been negative.[3][4] DVD Verdict panned the movie, as they felt that the film exploited Barrymore - who was fourteen at the time - as a sexual object and was also too predictably plotted.[5] TV Guide also wrote a negative review, also criticizing it as too predictable and obvious.[6]


  1. ^ "Far From Home (1989)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  2. ^ Barrymore, Drew (February 1990). Little Girl Lost. Atria. ISBN 0-671-68922-3.
  3. ^ "Review: 'Far from Home'". Variety. 1989-01-01. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  4. ^ "Far from Home (review)". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  5. ^ "DVD Verdict Review - Far From Home". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  6. ^ "Far From Home". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2016-07-06.

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