Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Scarehouse

Director - Gavin Michael Booth (Still Here)
Starring - Sarah Booth (Hemlock Grove), Kimberly-Sue Murray (Being Human), and Katherine Barrell (Lost Girl)
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Revenge is a bitch"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     The last few months I have been digging deep into Facebook and the like trying to find indie horror flicks that have gone unnoticed or just finished production and have not been released to the masses yet.  I have found several amazing films since then and there is still more to be found.  One such film that I came across was The Scarehouse.  I passed the film up the first time I found the film's Facebook page.  It honestly looked like a horror thriller aimed at women similar to Pretty Little Liars.  I changed my mind the second time I came across the page and reached out to them about it.  They were kind enough to send me a link to an  online screener and I thank them for that.
     The film follows two young women, former college students, who were just released from jail.  They tried to rush a sorority while they were in college but a hazing prank backfires and finds them in jail for murder.  They spend 2 years plotting their revenge and when they are finally released they turn part of a haunted house into a murder museum and invite the sorority sisters in one by one to meet their demise.
     The artwork, shown above, is the first thing I saw when I visited the film on Facebook.  I loved the poster but it made me think it was a horror film aimed for women.  I'm not trying to be sexist or anti-feminist, I'm just stating what I thought. The film just looked like it was intended for a female audience.  After watching it, I can safely say that is not the case.  The film was surprisingly entertaining and offers up more than most modern indie productions.  The acting in this one is nicely done by the entire cast.  I have seen so many films with a budget like this that cast way under the film's level giving the viewers dry performances but not this film.  This film has pulled together an amazing cast that work very well with each other while giving some intense performances.  The story for this one is nothing we haven't seen before but it is unique in the way they went about delivering the story.  The story, which consist of mostly an all female cast, follows a revenge plot faithfully like so many films before.  What sets this one apart from the others is that it does not victimize all the female cast members.  Several of the characters are fighters with little will to give up.  This made the story very interesting while, at the same time, not objectifying women.  With that being said, the film does hit several dry spots that will bore the viewer.  Several scenes drag out for far too long which takes away from a scenes that has tremendous impact on the story.  A tighter script and a little editing would have prevented this.  Finally, the film has a few on screen kills that are not as gory as the story called for which is a damn shame.  The film revolves around the two girls killing their would be sorority sisters and they had 2 years in jail to think of ways to off them.  They create these elaborate death scenes but fail to follow those up with the blood and gore that would make them memorable.  The practical effects we great for the kills we are offered but are nothing that we have not seen before or that stands out.  Overall, The Scarehouse is one stylish horror film that is sexy and deadly.  Sadly, it is not bloody but the film more than makes up for it with a decent story, solid cast, and claustrophobic atmosphere.  I highly recommend this one.

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