GIRLHOUSE

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

DVD REVIEW: GIRLHOUSE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: TREVOR MATTHEWS, JON KNAUTZ / SCREENPLAY: NICK GORDON / STARRING: ALI COBRIN, ADAM DIMARCO, SLAINE, ALYSON BATH / RELEASE DATE: TBC

The turn of the century brought a paradigm shift within the horror genre, a new bogeyman - the digital age. Like with 2002 shocker My Little Eye, Girlhouse taps into the terror of voyeurism, throwing in the increasing panic surrounding security hacks, and the frightening availability of personal information. But it’s too little too late, draping the entire film in a dated veil, despite the iPhones aplenty. It’s not that the interconnected, instant gratification society isn’t ripe for picking, it’s that Girlhouse goes about it all the wrong way.

Sold as the Halloween for the digital age is only a half truth. Yes, the film owes a tremendous debt to Carpenter’s classic slasher, unashamedly paying its debts visually and thematically, but its similarities end with the killer’s motives. Michael Myers is perhaps the most chilling of all screen killers, knocking people off like some force of nature without judgment or prejudice. After being embarrassed by two girls as a child, Loverboy (Slaine) quickly develops a hatred of women, brutally killing one of the girls who laughed at him. When Kylie (Cobrin) moves into Girlhouse (think the Playboy mansion with webcams) to fund her college education and support her mum, Loverboy quickly develops an obsession. He hacks his way in, torturing and murdering the performers for no other reason than they laughed at him.

Whether pushing his own agenda or not, writer Nick Gordon has penned a nasty script which blames the victims of sexual violence, demonises women and simultaneously points the finger at the porn industry, while directors Trevor Mathews and Jon Knautz get in as many tits and arse shots as possible.

Girlhouse proves that there’s still a place for the slasher in the 21st century. It manages to be inventive whilst showing a clear lineage to the greats of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but the toxic script and connotations are at odds with the more progressive voices in the genre. This isn’t the film horror audiences deserve, it’s one best left to the leering dudebro crowd.

Special Features: TBC
 

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