July 18, 2015

Movie Review: House with 100 Eyes

Found footage. The horror style du jour that has finally been losing some steam in recent years. It is not that it is a bad tool to use, it is just that you need to apply some sort of creativity to it. Just look at the recent movie The Gallows, that was a bad implementation of the found footage idea. Now, look at House with 100 Eyes, it is not exactly a good movie, but it makes good use of the found footage style. That should also tell you if you are interested in this, some people just don't like this style of film making. That's not a bad thing, just a choice.

When it comes to House with 100 Eyes, you have the choice to continue watching after a few minutes or not. I made the choice to continue watching. I am still trying to decide if that was the right choice or not. You see, this is not a good movie, as a whole, but there is something about it. On one hand it is a rather corny trip into a mash of found footage and torture porn (not a particularly favorite term, but decent enough shorthand that you know what I am talking about), on the other hand, it has a rather chilling quality about knowing the people around you and the depth of depravity that could linger just beneath their smiling, neighborly facade.

That sounds awfully high brow for what is a decidedly low brow experiment. At the center of the story are Ed (Jim Roof) and Susan (Shannon Malone). On the surface, they are a typical everyday suburban couple; however, they are actually a rather sick couple who run a snuff movie making studio out of their home, or “cage” as Ed likes to call it. Beyond that, Susan has had a habit of poisoning people, friends, relatives, whoever. It is her addiction and she cannot quite control it.

Well, this movie, pieced together with footage shot by the couple and from the many cameras around the house. Ed is an ambitious snuff maker, he wants to make a triple feature. No, not three movies, but one movie with three kills. So, the couple head out and pick up a homeless trio of teens with the intention of filming a threesome followed by their murders. Lovely fellow. Well, as if you could not guess, thing go wrong and a bunch of people end up dead.

The plot is thin, the desire to make a movie is about all there really is to it. Put the pieces in place, show some graphic violence and then watch everything fall apart. The movie does get pretty graphic, at one point a character is fed her own body fat. Yeah, just a little gross. Still, the movie does not seem to want to go all the way into showing depravity. The nudity is blurred out, although they miss a couple of shots, revealing flesh colored shorts on the actors.

I cannot say I liked the movie, it does not seem to want to make a point rather than just show the blood and guts. This leaves the exercise hollow and rather unlikable. The couple are not nice people, no matter how much they smile, and the victims are shallow with no real reason to care about them. Still, there is a bit of a chilling tone as we watch these common, everyday folks go about killing people, talking about killing people, and doing it all with a smile on their face.

This a movie for a very limited audience. By all accounts it is well made. It is found footage used well, it has a place in the story and is executed as it should. It makes sense. Still, the acting is a touch suspect, the story underwritten, and the whole thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Still, there is no denying there is an unsettling effect that I found a bit chilling. Still. by any stretch, it is a bad movie, a well made bad movie, but a bad movie nonetheless. To its credit, it does have a nice old school sounding title.

Not Recommended.

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