The hundred eyes of the title being CCTV cameras, relaying much of the film's action to its audience. It is found footage, then, but has enough gimmicks up its sleeve that it doesn't feel hampered by the format. As such, it's one of the only found footage horror films that manages to bypass a question as old as Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project – why are they still filming when it all falls apart? Because, by the time it's too late, it's out of the characters' hands.
The plot, then. A husband-and-wife serial killing duo, amassing a collection of homemade snuff videos, indulge in a snuff threesome (fivesome?), picking up a young lad and two girls straight from the street. The torture chamber beckons, but what our murderous man-and-wife haven't reckoned on is the human survival instinct. What follows is a brutal fight for survival, with neither party guaranteed (or even likely to achieve) survival. Whatever the case, those hundred eyes are on hand to capture it all, for better or worse.
What could have been but a simple dull torture movie is enlivened by a frequently inventive streak, from the purposefully cheesy and stilted video introductions of killers Ed and Susan, to the armless, legless woman kept captive in a pet carrier, cheerily grinning her way through the movie. As Ed, writer/co-director/lead actor Jim Roof channels the look and act of magnetically repulsive Hot Tub Time Machine star Rob Corddry. Like Corddry, he's endlessly irritating for every moment of his screentime but undeniably watchable. Shannon Malone gets less to play with as Susan, but she's a fine foil to his mania. The kids are perfectly serviceable, doing what they have to do (die, mostly) well enough.
The House with 100 Eyes is smart, well-done horror filmmaking. Its style and story won't be to everyone's tastes – it's thoroughly unpleasant; a torture film through and through – and it struggles with its tone, but it does manage to transcend its limitations to create something a little bit special.
Special Features: TBC
INFO: THE HOUSE WITH 100 EYES / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JAY LEE, JIM ROOF / SCREENPLAY: JIM ROOF / STARRING: JIM ROOF, SHANNON MALONE, LARISSA LYNCH, LIZ BURGHDORF / RELEASE DATE: JULY 13TH