This Day in Horror

13 February 2013

The Perfect House 2011 - REVIEW

Stop me if you've heard this one... a newlywed couple is looking for the perfect house to spend the rest of their lives in... blah, blah, blah, things go wrong and everyone dies. There's always some schmuck that ends up buying or renting a house with a haunted history. OR, or... a serial killer escapes from prison and goes home to find his Mommy was run out of town by an angry mob and a whole new family has planted roots. There are so many regurgitated tales of home buying gone wrong to choose from that it's becoming really hard to find one with any worth.

Newlyweds, Mike (William A. Robertson) and Marisol (Andrea Vahl), are given the tour of their potential dream home by a perky real estate Agent (Monique Parent). As they progress from one room to another, the history of the house is told in anthology type tales. "The Storm" is a Hitchcock inspired, dark shadow filled tale of an abusive family taking shelter in their basement from a violent, fast approaching storm. Soon we learn that the weather isn't the only thing threatening to tear this family apart. "Chic-ken" is the tale of a serial killer who rapes and tortures his victims in the basement of his home. "Dinner Guest" is a disturbing look at what can happen if you fail to return gardening tools to your creepy, hermit neighbor.

With a cast composed of film stars from the 80's and 90's, The Perfect House is likely to be a horror's fan wet dream. Jonathan Tiersten and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and John Philbin (Return of the Living Dead) are clearly the headliners here, and they do a great job, but it's the brother and sister duo (Alex Markousis and Michael Wagner) from the first segment "The Storm" that steal the show. Or maybe it's just the creepiness of that particular story that caught my attention... who knows. Overall, the acting is hit and miss to varying degrees. It occasionally gets a little over the top and at times a bit cheesy but I think that had more to do with the dialogue they were given than with their acting abilities.

I have to admit at first, I had no idea what was going on with this film. I got a little lost in between the first couple of flashbacks and it took me a minute to realize exactly what was happening. Okay, okay I'm a little slow. I freely admit it. That said, looking at the stories individually, I'd have to say that "The Storm" was my personal favorite. It had the right amount of uncomfortable eeriness to it that is maintained through out that whole segment. That coupled with the impending storm outside and the intensity of the conflict inside makes for a pretty strong story. "Chic-ken" came off a little too Hostel'ish for me. I do dig the blood and guts type film but I'm a little burned out on the torture porn aspect of movies. Not to mention the scripting in this one was a little on the bizarre side. There is no circumstance where I would see a serial killer's hostage say and act the way this one does. Yes, I'm fully aware of Stockholm Syndrome but I don't see it happening in this case, again because of some of the dialogue. This in turn, made me wonder if Kris Hulbert's intentions were for this segment to be more of a dark comedy. It's still kind of unclear for me. "Dinner Guest" was the hardest one for me to get through as it contained a lot of physical and psychological child abuse and that's not really my cup of tea.

As I said before, I didn't hate The Perfect House. I like that they tried to shake things up and make it not your normal "evil house" type film. The effects are well done and it's well shot. It's definitely worth a watch AND for the entire month of February, when you rent or buy The Perfect House a donation will be made to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. That right there should be enough to make even NON-horror fans watch!


3 comments:

  1. Hmmm, with a cast like this it's hard to pass up watching it. Believe it or not I have yet to see anything Felissa Rose has been in outside of Sleepaway Camp.

    I understand the initial confusion you mentioned with this being an anthology. I recently wated "Scary or Die" on Netflix, and the description gave no indication that it was an anthology. It was about 15 minutes in before I realized what was happening, haha

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  2. Gore Whore,

    Thank you for the cool review and kind words!! I will be the first to admit, I hung the actors out to dry in a few spots with cheesy dialogue. It's one of the many things i learned from this experience. I'm chomping at the bit to show the lessons learned with our next project.

    Thank you again for taking the time to check out our film!!

    Kris

    PS - The second story is intended to be a dark (VERY DARK) comedy of sorts. I have a very dark, twisted and jaded sense of humor and I might have exposed a little too much of myself in that one!

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  3. Kris, I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with next!

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