Review: The Wrong House / Cert: 15 / Director: Eric Hurt / Screenplay: Eric Hurt / Starring: Marc Singer, Art LaFleur, Hayley DuMond / Release Date: Out Now
Not quite the torture trash that the title and cover art may lead you to expect it to be, The Wrong House (not to be confused with the even lower budget horror film of the same name, which does indeed deliver on the ball gags and blood) is far more ambitious and, indeed, interesting than one might dare hope.
Not that it re-invents the wheel. But the cover (almost identical to another recent release, The Lodge) doesn't give much of anything away beyond the house and a dodgy green Photoshop filter. Two bickering families converge upon an open house, far away from anywhere. On the road, and in the best Texas Chain Saw Massacre tradition, they encounter a traumatised, terrified girl – visibly battered, her tongue recently cut out. The families try to escape, but find that whichever way they turn, they wind up back at the (wrong) house. It's like that scene in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, where the doomed kids find themselves unable to leave Springwood, or Freddy's influence. A cheerful automated voice insists they go inside and have a look around. With the dads seemingly hallucinating visions of themselves in the woods, and the kids becoming increasingly aggressive, escape would be a good idea. Try as they might, they find themselves utterly unable to leave. No matter how far they drive, or walk, the (wrong) house is only just behind them.
A low-budget amalgamation of Groundhog Day, Lost and Cabin in the Woods (but not nearly as good as any of those), The Wrong House is a welcome break from what could have been. Cruel low-budget rapefests have been all to prevalent lately (see The Lodge, again – or don't) so this is a nice change of pace (see also The Corridor and YellowBrickRoad). It won't be to all tastes, and it's definitely not perfect, but it is well made, compelling and interesting.