DVD REVIEW: THE HOUSE OF HIM / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: ROBERT FLORENCE / SCREENPLAY: ROBERT FLORENCE / STARRING: RICHARD RANKIN, LOUISE STEWART, KIRSTY STRAIN, AMY E. WATSON / RELEASE DATE: TBC
Robert Florence gives a fresh take on the slasher film with dark twists breaking the recycled tropes of today. The House of Him gets credit for an original screenplay with an otherworldly notion. There is nothing quite like payback, especially when it concerns a misogynistic serial killer.
Two young women, Sophie and Anna, are lured into a male photographer’s home. Instead of getting the camera, he dons a mask and murderous intentions ensue. Anna is left in turmoil when discovering her friend has been killed, but before the killer gets a chance to off his last victim something more paranormal seems to be taking over. Caught off guard, he decides not to kill Anna straightaway and instead torments her as he attempts to work out what is happening. The tables soon turn as it appears to be his previous victims waking from the dead and taking the opportunity to get the last laugh.
Richard Rankin gives a good performance on the psyche of a female-hating murderer, though when he starts chatting away, drinking tea from a china set, the fearsome allure is diminished. Amusing but definitely unthreatening, even for a shaken Anna, played by Louise Stewart, who is supposed to be panic-stricken.
The simplicity of the location and lack of cast members suggest a little too non-budget a film. Where it lacks in production value, it thrives in imagination with a sound concept that is executed clearly. There definitely seems to be some influences from John Carpenter's Halloween in style and tone. Traditional horror conventions are used justly, and Florence makes the most of the little lighting and space he has to shoot with. Unfortunately, it feels a little stretched out in the middle, losing its rhythm; this is where some of the fear and suspense is lost, but somehow it comes together at the end with a chilling resolution.
Special Features: TBC
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