“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” (its mouthy title comes from a Gospel LP that Blair received from director pal Jeremy Saulnier, whose name ended up fitting the tone of the film perfectly) is a true belly laugh of a film, and the perfect choice for when you want to watch a weirdly hilarious and insane hybrid of a movie.

Cinemacy just came back from covering this year’s Sundance film festival (my and Morgan’s first time!), and we were lucky enough to see the film that took home the top prize. That film was Macon Blair’s comedy-thriller “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,” which won the coveted Grand Jury Prize after leaving audiences in stitches with its raucous tonal mixings of genuinely side-splitting comedy and shock-violence action that plays like an indie grindhouse comedy.

“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” is built on the premise that the world is full of self-centered jerks. It’s certainly the world that Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) lives in, where minor violations like witnessing lifted trucks pumping out black exhaust, people’s careless discarding of items on the floor at the grocery store, and constantly not picked up dog droppings on her lawn, are a part of everyday life. The easygoing nice-person levee breaks when, after the discovery of a home invasion with personal affections stolen, Ruth decides to take matters into her own hands and track down the culprit, if nothing more than to confront the perpetrator for their moral wrongness. Ruth enlists the help of her quirky karate-obsessed neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood) to help find the burglar, but little do they know that they’re tracking down a band of junkie nutso’s led by slithery and vampiric Marshall (Tony Zow), who are planning an even bigger smash and grab job, which sucks them into an underbelly world full of bloodbath mayhem that puts them in way, way over their heads.

Even the notion of being one of the last few moral-defenders in a world run amuck by schmucks is a feeling that taps into the collective conscious that we all have (haven’t we all fantasized about confronting that jerk who uncaringly spoils a major twist in that fantasy novel??), making the cathartic and comedic effects here even greater.

As Ruth, Melanie Lynskey is great as an elder’s nurse turned homespun moral crime-fighter, playing the full comedic range of meekly expected disappointments in the beginning of the film, up through passing her tipping point and boiling over into DIY revenge, stealing back her grandmother’s silver from a seedy pawn shop in one of the film’s most jarringly and unexpectedly hilarious moments when the pawn shop owner tries to stop them. Even the notion of being one of the last few moral-defenders in a world run amuck by schmucks is a feeling that taps into the collective conscious that we all have (haven’t we all fantasized about confronting that jerk who uncaringly spoils a major twist in that fantasy novel??), making the cathartic and comedic effects here even greater.

Elijah Wood as Ruth’s nerdy, karate-loving loner neighbor Tony may have never been funnier onscreen. With his rat tail hair, old man specs, and nunchucks and ninja stars, Wood plays the punchline sidekick that keeps the filming motoring confidently on its screwy head. Wood gets rich deadpan dialogue at every turn from Blair’s original script (after struggling to pull out a ninja star from the wall, Tony surmises “That’s how hard I threw it”). But Wood’s sensitivity also conveys the introverted anti-social neighbor that makes his Tony a perfect companion. The chemistry between them makes one wish what other adventures the two could get into.

“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” (its mouthy title comes from a Gospel LP that Blair received from director pal Jeremy Saulnier, whose name ended up fitting the tone of the film perfectly) is a true belly laugh of a film, and the perfect choice for when you want to watch a weirdly hilarious and insane hybrid of a movie. Director Blair, who Morgan and I had the fortune of actually running into while walking down Park City’s Main Street earlier in the day before his film would win at the Awards Ceremony later that night, could not have been a more pleasant and nice person. Which just goes to show – as the film will be streaming on Netflix later this year – that nice people don’t always finish last.