While not prosecuted for obscenity, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 during the video nasty panic.
A parked motorist is strangled by escaped mental patient Jay Jones, a PCP addict who was institutionalized after bludgeoning his parents. Jay carjacks his victim, and runs down an old woman while driving through Los Angeles.
On the outskirts of the city, nine people have gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving at the ranch of Harold Bradley. Among the revelers are Harold's tenant Scott, and his girlfriend Jennifer. As there is no wine in the house, Harold's girlfriend Linda and her friend Gail borrow Scott's car to go and get some, while Jay cuts off the house's power. Harold turns on the emergency generator, leaves to get more gasoline for it, and happens upon Jay's abandoned station wagon. As Harold tries to take the battery out of the car, Jay slams the hood down on him, crushing his skull.
Jay severs the telephone line, and when Wayne goes out to look for Harold, he is garroted by Jay, who was hiding in the backseat of Wayne's car. Linda and Gail, who had become lost, run out of gas, and as they try to find their way back to the ranch, they run into Jay. Jay slams Gail's head into a rock, and stabs Linda to death with a broken bottle. Afterward, Jay returns to the house, where the remaining guests and members of the Bradley family have sat down to a turkey dinner.
When Wayne's girlfriend Maria goes to the washroom, Jay stabs her, and proceeds to chase Harold's son "Mistake" (a Kiss Army soldier) around the property, eventually catching and fatally shocking him with his own electric guitar and portable amplifier. Scott discovers Maria's body while collecting firewood, runs back to the ranch, and secures the building with Jennifer, and Harold's young daughter, Angel. Jay manages to break inside, and as he tries strangling Scott, Jennifer wounds him with a knife.
Jay recovers, slits Scott's throat, and pursues Jennifer, who faints while hiding in Scott's room. In the morning, Jennifer awakens, and is assaulted by Jay when she ventures outside. A pair of police officers, alerted to the situation by Angel, pull up, and blast Jay with a shotgun. As one officer places Jennifer in his car with Angel, the other checks on Jay, who opens his eyes.Jake Steinfeld as Jay Jones
Vinessa Shaw as Angel Bradley
Peter De Paula as "Mistake" Bradley
Don Edmonds as Harold Bradley
Charles Hoyes as Wayne
David Mielke as Scott
Leia Naron as Gail
Lisa Rodríguez as Maria
Colette Trygg as Jennifer
Sallee Young as Linda
J. Kelly as Officer Jim
R. Fouts as Officer Tom
Victor Paddock as First Victim
Rochelle Constanten as Old Woman
Anne Cribbs as Witness
Retro Slashers wrote, "The film has heart. Sure, it's a kind of mindless and confused heart, but the acting is decent and there's a real feeling that the filmmakers were shooting for something". A 1½ out of a possible 5 was awarded by Hysteria Lives!, which opined that "Home Sweet Home is a truly terrible movie. It's bad to the very core; but if you are in just the right mood and you're an aficionado of cheese then you might get a few kicks out of this fetid stinker". Film Bizarro deemed the film an obnoxious mess that was filled with annoying and stupid characters, awful attempts at comedy, poorly done gore, and a complete lack of originality or successful horror. Critical Condition found that Home Sweet Home was "one cop-out after another" marred by poor lighting and an antagonist who "hams it up so badly, you half expect bacon to fly off the screen".
Film historian Adam Rockoff wrote of the film: "For being so irredeemably terrible, Home Sweet Home has a strangely compelling pedigree... I've heard that star Steinfeld has no sense of humor about involvement with the film, which makes watching this travesty almost worthwhile."