Coming Home in the Dark: Chilling trailer released for NZ film after Sundance premiere

A trailer has been released for a New Zealand thriller which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is opening in Aotearoa cinemas on August 12.

Coming Home in the Dark is based on a short story by award-winning author Owen Marshall, co-written and directed by James Ashcroft.

It follows a teacher who is forced to confront a secret from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters take his family on a nightmare road-trip.

The trailer teases a chilling film experience, backed up by the reviews it won from its Sundance premiere in January.

Slash Film's critic called it "unbearably tense" and a "one and a half-hour gut-punch".

"In James Ashcroft's film, a family trip to the picturesque, and remote, New Zealand coastline turns deadly and spirals out of control into one very long night," wrote Chris Evangelista.

"You won't exactly enjoy this movie, but you might very well be awed by its emotional power."

A review on horror website Bloody Disgusting says the film "succeeds in sheer intensity and extremism" and is "punctuated by such ruthless violence that it'll leave you gasping more than once".

Coming Home in the Dark is rated R16 in New Zealand.